New Zealand’s Farah Palmer Cup kicked off this weekend.
Canterbury - champions in 2018
New Zealand’s inter-provincial tournament – the Farah Palmer Cup – continues, with the help of sponsorship from Mitre 10, to expand with 13 team taking part this year, split into two divisions, Northland making their debut this year.
An increasing number of games are now being played as “double headers” with the men’s tournament, giving greater exposure and crowds as well as ensuring that many of the games also receive live TV coverage. Two of the opening weekend’s three games – at Canterbury and Waikato - were double-headers
Six of the seven teams that will compete in the Premiership played on the opening day, including reigning champions Canterbury who overpowered Wellington 57-19 with New Zealand halfback Kendra Cocksedge scoring a try and kicking six conversions to their nine tries en route to finishing with 17 points.
Auckland, who won 15 out of 16 titles between 1999 and 2015 but failed to reach the final in the last two seasons, put down a marker after travelling south to Hamilton where they beat Waikato 41-23. Auckland scored seven tries to three to also claim a bonus point in the win.
Counties Manukau – who ended the Auckland run in 2016, and who lost to Canterbury in the 2017 and 2018 finals, also began with a win as they proved too strong for Bay of Plenty 37-24.
The seventh and final Premiership team – Manuwatu – open their account next weekend against Counties Manukau, and teams from the second tier Championship also start their seasons.
Canterbury 57 (Kendra Cocksedge, Cindy Nelles 2, Lucy Anderson, Angie Sisfa, Te Rawia Capper, Olivia McGoverne, Alana Bremner, Georgia Ponsonby tries; Cocksedge 6 con) Wellington 19 (Janet Taumoli, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Ayesha Leti-Liga tries; Amanda Rasch 2 con). HT:
Bay of Plenty 24 (Sapphire Tapsell 2, Kendra Reynolds, Natalie Walford tries; Tapsell 2 con) Counties Manukau 37 (Aotearoa Matau, Grace Gago, Lanulangi Veainu 2, Waikohika Flesher tries; Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 7-24
Waikato 23 (Chelsea Alley, Bonita Ngalu-Lavemei, Toka Natua tries; Alley con, 2 pen) Auckland 41 (Patricia Maliepo, Isla Norman-Bell, Princess Elliot 2, Charmaine McMenamin, Natahlia Moors, Eloise Blackwell tries; Maliepo 3 con). HT: 13-22
6 Sep Counties Manukau v Manawatu
7 Sep Wellington v Bay of Plenty
8 Sep Auckland v Canterbury
7 Sep Hawke’s Bay v Northland
7 Sep Tasman v North Harbour
8 Sep Otago v Taranaki