Counties Manukau set the pace in the Farah Palmer Cup

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Too much speed, know-how and continuity proved overwhelming for a North Harbour side who rarely managed attacking chances throughout the game.


Central to the home team's win was the outstanding inside back combination of halfback Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and first five-eighth Hazel Tubic. They were invariably involved in their side's 14 tries while wings Waikohika Flesher and Black Ferns Sevens representative Ruby Tui shared seven tries between them.


Flesher crossed four times and both her and Tui made full use of their speed advantage, occasionally complemented by the incursions from fullback Emily Kitson who scored two tries.


Outstanding in the Counties Manukau pack were No 8 Harono Te Iringa who was lethal from the back of the scrum while prop Aotearoa Matau featured with several tackle-breaking runs with ball in hand.

Scorers: Counties Manukau 89 (Emily Kitson 2, Hazel Tubic, Waikohika Flesher 4, Ilisapeti Molia, Harono Te Iringa, Mele Hufanga, Ruby Tui 3, Grace Gago  tries; Hazel Tubic 8 con, pen) North Harbour 3 ( Hayley Hutana pen). HT: 37-3


Northland pushed Waikato all the way. Down 3-5 at halftime, Waikato didn't claim the lead until the 66th minute when Chelsea Alley landed her second penalty goal.


Two minutes from full-time Mia Anderson scored Waikato's first try with Alley crossing for their second one minute into injury time.


Waikato 18 (Mia Anderson, Chelsea Alley tries; Alley con, 2 pen)  Northland 5 (Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate try). HT: 3-5


It had been seven years since Taranaki had met Auckland in provincial competition, but it was to be a sharp reminder of the quality Auckland bring to the women's game. Although holding the northerners to 0-12 at halftime, the ability of Auckland's outside backs saw centre Theresa Fitzpatrick score two tries and wing Nathalia Moors scored once.


Taranaki 0 Auckland 38 (Cristo Tofa, Eloise Blackwell, Theresa Fitzpatrick 2, Nathalia Moors, L Mikaele-Tu'u tries; Patricia Maliepo 4 con). HT: 0-12