Auckland secured their place in the semi-finals with a 36-16 victory over North Harbour at the North Harbour Stadium on Sunday.
Auckland secured their place in the ITM Cup semi-finals with a 36-16 victory over North Harbour at the North Harbour Stadium on Sunday.
North Harbour were competitive in the first half – auckland led 24-16 at half-time – but Auckland took control of proceedings after the break and the home side failed to notch any points in the second half.
Auckland full-back Charles Piutau scored one of his side's four tries and was one of their star performers. He breached North Harbour's defence on several occasions which also set up try-scoring opportunities for his team-mates.
Another player who impressed for the visitors was fly-half Gareth Anscombe who claimed 16 points through a try, four conversions and a penalty.
Although the final finishing order must still be decided, Auckland will join Wellington, Taranaki and Canterbury in the play-offs.
For North Harbour:
Pens: Rei 3
Tries: Piutau, Anscombe, Ta'avao, Braid, Thomas
Cons: Anscombe 4
Pen : Anscombe
North Harbour: 15 Luke Devcich. 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Codey Rei, 9 Brenton Helleur, 8 Viliami Fihaki, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Glenn Preston, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Chris Smith, 3 Ben Afeaki (c), 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Woonton.
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Api Ratuniyarawa, 19 Sam Hayes-Stevenson, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Cory Aporo, 22 David Raikuna.
Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson; 8 Joe Edwards, 7 Daniel Braid (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Siosiua Halonukonuka, 18 Nathan Hughes, 19 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 20 Scott Patterson, 21 Simon Hickey, 22 Dave Francis.