The New Zealand Miter 10 Cup, which brings together the provincial teams, began to be played. Without participation in another tournament and in order to have a rhythm of play prior to the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championhisp, the New Zealand union gave permission to those selected by Ian Foster to participate in the tournament. So it was that the tournament was full of All Blacks figures who had outstanding performances.
Damian McKenzie excelled in Waikato’s 53-28 win over Wellington that also featured Anton Lienert Brown as the winner. The fullback excelled with 1 try, 5 conversions and 6 penalties. The All Blacks McKenzie and Anton Lienert Brown, played for Waikato for the first time since 2016 and 2015 respectively. For those from the capital, there were the players of the black team Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara and Asafo Aumua in a team that was a favorite and also had Julian Savea who returned from France and several regular Super Rugby players. The Savea brothers scored one try each.
In Auckland’s away win against Otago 38-6 the men in black were all for the winning team which featured Alex Hodgman, Ofa Tuungafasi, Akira Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu, Caleb Clarke and Rieko Ioane, the latter author of 1 try in the win.
Tasman brought a good away win against Counties Manukau 41-24 that despite having former All Blacks captain Kieran Read, could not contain the loss. But there was also the presence of the selected kiwi. Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell (1 try), Sevu Reece and Will Jordan played for the winner. For its part, the local had Nepo Laulala on the front row and Dalton Papali´i as wing (1 try).
The tournament began on Friday with a 43-29 victory for Canterbury in their visit to Nort Harbor. The winning cast featured Codie Taylor as a leading figure who scored 2 tries and was seconded by Cullen Grace and George Bride who scored one try each. In the second row he presented Sam Whitelock and in the second half Richie Mo’unga was pleased to have 30 ‘on the court (2 conversions) who returned after 3 years and played his 50th game with the red and black team. On the local side, the pillar Karl Tu’inukuafe was present.
On Sunday they complete Northland that will have Jack Goodhue in the second row against Manawatu that will have Aaron Smith among the substitutes. Taranaki, Tupou Vaa’i and Jordie Barrett starters, will host Bay of Plenty and Southland will be local to Hawke’s Bay.