24 Sep 2012

Big win keeps Canterbury in the playoff picture

7:26 am on 24 September 2012

Canterbury thrashed Waikato 52-27 in Hamilton to stay alive in their hunt for a playoff place in the provincial rugby Premiership on Sunday, and put Waikato in danger of relegation.

Canterbury go fourth but the champions are just a point off Wellington, whose loss to Auckland at home on Saturday handed the visitors the outright lead by a point.

Ranfurly Shield holders Taranaki are second, one point behind Auckland.

Otago strengthened their push for promotion from the Championship with a 39-13 thrashing of visitors Tasman.

The Makos led 13-10 at half-time but wouldn't score another point as Otago racked up the bonus point win with four second-half tries to move into second place above the visitors, behind Counties Manukau, the Steelers runaway leaders by seven points after last week's win at Manawatu.