Mitre 10 Cup Power Rankings: Hawke's Bay dethrone Tasman at top

Gareth Evans in action for Hawke's Bay
Gareth Evans in action for Hawke's Bay.

OPINION: Hawke's Bay Magpies have recorded their fifth victory of the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season to remain unbeaten and maintain a seven-point lead at the top of the championship ladder.

But more importantly, they've stamped their mark at the top of the power rankings, detroning Tasman.

First-five Lincoln McClutchie was outstanding in their win over Waikato, as they continued to find a way to win games and beat good sides. 

They host Taranaki this week, before taking on Bay of Plenty in the battle of the 'Bays'.

1. Hawke's Bay (C) 

 

Last week: Second (+1)

This week: Beat Waikato 27-24

They just keep finding a way to win, still unbeaten through five rounds and looking like the best team in the championship. Gareth Evans had a standout game against the Mooloos at the weekend. 

2. Tasman (P)

 

Last week: FIrst (-1)

This week: Beat North Harbour 21-17

Their worst performance of the season, which is why they drop to second, but they're still unbeaten and at the top of the premiership ladder. 

3. Canterbury (P)

 

Last week: Third (-)

This week: Beat Northland 42-12

A comprehensive win over an average Northland side. Great to see Owen Franks back in red-and-black, and the young outside backs were impressive - the nine-time champs are only getting better. 

4. Bay of Plenty (C)

 

Last week: Fourth (-)

This week: Beat Taranaki 31-17

A statement game from the Steamers. Impressive in their win over the 'Naki, they take on Northland next week, before a mouth-watering clash with Hawke's Bay in a fortnight. 

mitre 10 power rankings
Photo credit: Newshub.

5.Auckland (P)

 

Last week: Sixth (+1)

This week: Beat Counties Manukau 28-13

With three yellow cards throughout the match, they left it until very late to seal the win - a good gritty win.

6. Wellington (P)

 

Last week: Seventh (+1)

This week: Beat Otago 54-24

They were up 7-0 after 38 seconds and they never looked back. Wes Goosen starred with a hat-trick and their win takes them to second on the premiership ladder. 

7. Otago (C)

 

Last week: Fifth (-2)

This week: Lost to Wellington 54-24

A tough outing for the Ranfurly Shield holders, beaten by a very good Wellington side. Luckily, they still have the Log o' Wood in Dunedin.

8. Waikato (P)

 

Last week: Eighth (-)

This week: Lost to Hawke's Bay 27-24

Another close loss for the Mooloos, their second in as many weeks. They had chances to win it at the death, but weren't able to break the Bay's defence.

They face Tasman next week for a chance to get back to winning ways. 

9. Taranaki (C)

 

Last week: Ninth (-)

This week: Beaten by Bay of Plenty 31-17

Looked a little lost defensively at times against the Steamers, maybe suffering from Ranfurly Shield hangover, after losing to Otago last week.

Should still comfortably make the championship semi-finals. 

10. Manawatu (C)

 

Last week: 11th (+1)

This week: Beat Southland 31-26

Very good second half from Ngani Laumape to get them back into the game. The Turbos scored 24 unanswered points in the second 40 minutes, Laumape scoring two good tries.

Two straight wins now. 

11. North Harbour (P)

 

Last week: 10th (-1)

This week: Lost to Tasman 21-17

Came within a few minutes of toppling the dominant premiership leaders on the road. They're showing plenty of spirit and winnable games against Otago and Manawatu loom over the next two weeks to promote their semi-final hopes.

12. Counties Manukau (P)

 

Last week: 12th (-)

This week: Lost to Auckland 

A tough loss against Auckland, they played 30 minutes with one more player on the park, but still couldn't get the job done. 

13. Northland (C)

 

Last week: 13th (-)

This week: Lost to Canterbury 42-12

Outclassed by a much-improved Canterbury side. Apart from their opening-week win, there hasn't been much to cheer about for the Taniwha. 

14. Southland (C)

 

Last week: 14th (-)

This week: Lost to Manawatu 31-26

You must feel sorry for the Stags. Facing their first win in more than 1000 days, they concede 24 straight second-half points to lose.

Easily the worst team. 

Luke Robinson is a Newshub online sports producer.

 

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