The top two teams from the pool stage of the Farah palmer will meet in next weekend’s final
A Canterbury v Auckland final may seem predictable, but it was far from it in practice. With 15 minutes left Canterbury trailed Counties Manukau and a major upset was on the cards in Christchurch, but the defending champions rattled in four tries in 11 minutes to overcome their visitors 31-22 and remain on target for a third consecutive title.
Counties were first hour of the game. First half tries from wing Langi Veainu and hooker Grace Gago, a Hazel Tubic penalty eased them out to 15-9 with 20 minutes to play.
A try from Canterbury centre Grace Booker got her team to within one point before fullback Olivia McGoverne ran superb lines to give Canterbury the lead for the first time with 10 minutes left.
With two flanker from Alana Bremner shortly after Canterbury were clear.
In the other semi-final Auckland were too strong for Wellington, scoring six tries to three combined with the accurate boot of Patricia Maliepo. Auckland led 24-10 at halftime and were never really in danger as they booked their first appearance in a final since 2016 when to Counties ended their eight-year reign as champions.
Wellington Pride were missing loose forward Nina Foaese after she was suspended for three weeks for a dangerous tackle against Manawatu the previous weekend.
Otago secured a home final in the Championship when beating Tasman 64-10 in Dunedin on Saturday. They were helped by a 24-point haul from Rosie Kelly who scored two tries and added seven conversions among Otago's 10-try haul.
Hawke's Bay will meet them in the decider after they beat Northland 46-31, racing in for eight tries to four in Napier.
Mitre 10 Farah Palmer Cup semi-final results:
Auckland 43 (Ruahei Demant, Jeoannha Naime-Purcell, Princess Elliot 2, Joanna Fanene, Kiritapu Demant, tries; Patricia Maliepo 5 con, pen) Wellington 24 (Te Amohaere Ngata-Aerengamate, Ayesha Leti-l'iga 2 tries; Amanda Rasch 3 con, pen). HT: 24-10
Canterbury 31 (Olivia McGoverne, Alana Bremner 2, Grace Brooker tries; Kendra Cocksedge con, 3 pen) Counties Manukau 22 (Langi Veainu, Grace Gago, Aotearoa Matau tries; Hazel Tubic 2 con, pen). HT: 9-12
Otago 64 (Rosie Buchanan-Brown, Rosie Kelly 2, Greer Muir, Kiana Wereta, Morgan Henderson, Sheree Hume, Cheyenne Cunningham, Teilah Ferguson, Hinemoa Watene tries; Kelly 7 con) Tasman 10 (Sydnee Wilkins, Rebecca Kersten tries). HT: 35-0
Hawke's Bay 46 (Emma Jensen, Tori Iosefo, Michaela Baker, Krysten Cottrell, Forne Burkin, Cortez Te Pou, Kathleen Brown, Liana Mikaele-Tu'u tries; Cottrell 3 con) Northland 31 (Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Savannah Bodman 2 tries; Krystal Murray 4 con, pen). HT: 27-21
Premiership Final – Canterbury v Auckland, Saturday 26th October, 12.05pm, Rugby Park, Christchurch
Championship Final – Otago v Hawke’s Bay, Sunday 27th October, 12.05pm. Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin