Aucks in cruise control

Auckland booked their place in the semi-finals of the New Zealand Cup with a 46-14 thrashing of Bay of Plenty.

Two tries in the opening quarter, two in the third quarter and another two touchdowns at the end saw off a brave Steamers side. The Aucklanders scored 31 unanswered points in the second half.

Auckland will host a semi-final next week, but suffered a number of injury setbacks. They lost All Blacks Ali Williams (neck), Doug Howlett (knee), Steve Devine (shoulder) and Isaia Toeava (leg) to injuries. The injuries to Williams and Howlett looked to be serious.

In Saturday’s other quarter-final, Waikato ground out a 24-12 win against Southland.

Waikato led 24-0 at one stage, before two late Stags tries gave the scoreline some respectibility.

Auckland - Tries: Doug Howlett, Jerome Kaino, Brad Mika, Joe Rokocoko, Chris Heard, Kurtis Haiu. Conversions: Ben Atiga (3), Isa Nacewa (2). Penalties: Atiga (2).
Bay of Plenty - Tries: Cory Aporo, Jamie Nutbrown. Conversions: Murray Williams (2).

Waikato - Tries: Mils Muliaina, Aled de Malmanche, Sosene Anesi. Conversions: David Hill (3). Penalty: Hill.
Southland - Tries: James Wilson (2). Conversion: Wilson.