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Mitre 10 Cup Review: Week Nine

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Sunday, October 15, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

It was Taranaki's third game in little over a week and they had opted to give their wider squad some match exposure whereas North Harbour had their top side involved, albeit without the injured Bryn Gatland at first five-eighths. But his replacement Ben Volavola took his chances to play a big role for the side.

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North Harbour will play Canterbury in Christchurch in the semi-final between second and third after Canterbury bounced back from their Ranfurly Shield loss of a week earlier by beating Auckland 32-27.

Tasman didn't have the best warm-up for the semifinal when beaten 52-30 by Counties Manukau who confirmed fifth place in the Premiership as a result.

Like Taranaki, Manawatu also faced two games in the round in the Championship and needing a win to deny Northland fourth place they came up short with Hawke's Bay pipping them 36-31.

Earlier, Bay of Plenty ensured Waikato would be relegated from the Premiership for next season when winning 36-32 in Tauranga. Otago also gained a semifinal berth with their 43-19 win over Southland, who finished in 14th place overall.
On the individual points scoring tables Canterbury's Richie Mo'unga sits on top with 133 points while Otago's Fletcher Smith has 121 with Wellington's Jackson Garden-Bachop on 111 the only players to have passed 100.

Others are: Bryn Gatland (North Harbour) 96, Marty McKenzie (Taranaki) 91, Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty) and Jono Hickey (Auckland) 73.

North Harbour's Tevita Li's five-try haul against Taranaki on Sunday carried him to 11 tries in the competition, one more than Canterbury's Braydon Ennor.

Others are: Jona Nareki (Otago) 9, Vince Aso (Auckland), Tim Bateman (Canterbury), Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour), Asafo Aumua (Wellington), Alex Fidow (Wellington) 7.

Sitting on six are: Lalaki Foketi (Bay of Plenty), George Bridge (Canterbury), Josh McKay (Canterbury), Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury), Matt Duffie (North Harbour), Jordan Manihera (Waikato), Sevu Reece (Waikato), Julian Savea (Wellington), Ben Lam (Wellington).