10 Sep 2012

ITM Cup top table looking crowded

5:59 am on 10 September 2012

There's a four-way tie for top place in the provincial ITM Cup rugby competition after the weekend's results, with Canterbury, Wellington, Taranaki and Auckland all on 14 points.

Canterbury's 10-point win over Wellington and Auckland's win by the same margin over Waikato took those two to the top, while Taranaki's second big Ranfurly Shield defence against Hawke's Bay keeps them well in the hunt after five weeks.

In the lower-tier Championship on Sunday, Tasman were too strong for Manawatu, the Makos dishing out a bonus-point 27-3 hiding in Palmerston North, while Northland fought back to inflict yet another defeat on North Harbour.

The visiting Taniwhat fought back from 17-6 down to pip Harbour 18-17 - the hosts' fourth consecutive defeat.