12 Oct 2014

Auckland knock out Counties

6:52 am on 12 October 2014

Auckland have booked their semi-final spot in the provincial rugby competition, beating Northland 38-10 at Eden Park, to end Counties Manukau's playoff hopes.

Gareth Anscombe in action against Northland

Gareth Anscombe in action against Northland Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After their midweek thrashing at Counties, Auckland basically had to beat the Taniwha to knock out the Steelers, and they did that in some style - despite trailing 19-10 at half-time.

First five Gareth Anscombe farewelled Eden Park with a try, three conversions and three penalties for a personal haul of 20 points - he's off to Wales after the ITM Cup to play for the Cardiff Blues.

Lolagi Visinia, Tom McCartney and Nepia Fox-Matamua scored Auckland's other three tries.

In other results on the penultimate day of the competition, Hawke's Bay retained the Ranfurly Shield after a thrilling 20-20 home draw with Southland, but the Stags still qualify for the Championship semis.

Meanwhile Wellington finally won a game, beating North Harbour 58-34 in the capital.