Harbour’s heroics short-lived

Conquerors of Canterbury just a week ago, new Ranfurly Shield holders North Harbour were crushed by Waikato in Hamilton.

The hosts, who won 31-15 after leading 31-3 at halftime, also earned a home quarter-final against Southland in the revamped Air New Zealand Cup.

The quarter-final draw also sees Auckland at home to Bay of Plenty, Harbour at home to Otago and in the big one Canterbury have to travel to the capital to play Wellington.

Warren Gatland’s Waikato have been the form team in the domestic competition and they coasted to a four tries to two win. The Shield was not on offer but it is doubtful that Harbour will hold onto the log of wood for long.

Waikato had their bonus point fourth try 10 minutes before the break, with All Blacks Sivivatu and Kelleher prominent.

Waikato 31: Sitiveni Sivivatu 2, Byron Kelleher, Richard Kahui tries; Stephen Donald pen 4 con.
North Harbour 15: Luke McAlister, Ngarimu Simpkins tries; McAlister pen con.