2 Oct 2008

Intriguing race for rugby playoffs

11:12 am on 2 October 2008

An intriguing race for the remaining quarter-final places in rugby's provincial championship starts tonight in Hamilton where Waikato and Taranaki each have a foot in the door.

And with only four points separating Auckland in sixth from Northland in 10th the playoff picture might not be clarified until their match on Sunday afternoon.

Wellington, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty and Southland are through with Taranaki seventh, and Waikato eighth.

Tonight's winner could finish as high as fifth while the loser faces a nervous weekend because they could still finish eighth , if other results go their way.

Otago, Northland or Tasman also have a chance of finishing as high as sixth, although Northland would have to win at Eden Park, Otago upset the unbeaten leaders Wellington or Tasman trip up to Manawatu.