Mitre 10 Cup Power Rankings: Second straight win elevates Canterbury to top three

OPINION: Two weeks ago, Canterbury were winless and struggling to find any sort of form and momentum.

Fast forward to now, and they've won two matches and sit one-point outside the Mitre 10 premiership top four. 

With five weeks left, you should fully expect Canterbury to contest the semi-finals and make a healthy push for their 10th title.

They have a friendly schedule over the next month or so - they take on Northland, Manawatu and Counties in the next three matches. 

With Auckland's loss to the red-and-blacks, just two teams remain unbeaten through the first half of the season - Tasman, who take on North Harbour this weekend, and Hawke's Bay who host Southland. 

1. Tasman (P)

 

Last week: First (-)

This week: Beat Counties Manukau 36-0

They continue to dominate the Mitre 10 Cup, but while their attacking flair gets all the attention and accolades, their defence has been even more impressive, conceding just 19 points through the first five weeks. 

2. Hawke's Bay (C)

 

Last week: Second (-)

This week: Beat Southland 41-23

The only unbeaten side in the championship, the Magpies came up trumps against Southland, but face a tough next five weeks - Waikato, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Counties and Tasman to come. 

3. Canterbury (P)

 

Last week: Seventh (+4)

This week: Beat Auckland 32-22

The nine-time champions are making their way up the power rankings - don't read too much into their win over Southland, but after beating Auckland in pretty good fashion, I think we can say they're back.

mitre 10 power rankings
Photo credit: Newshub.

4. Bay of Plenty (C)

 

Last week: Third (-1)

This week: Lost to Wellington 16-15

A very close loss to Wellington - their second close loss of the season, but they still remain a favourite to win the championship. 

5. Otago: (C)

 

Last week: Ninth (+4)

This week: Beat Taranaki 35-27

Another gritty win to keep the Ranfurly Shield against a good Taranaki side. They face a tough run of games, but the youngsters from down south seem to be rolling. 

6. Auckland (P)

 

Last week: Fourth (-2)

This week: Lost to Canterbury 32-22

Suffered their first loss of the season. Canterbury look to be back - Auckland tried to mount a comeback, but the quality of the nine-time champs shone through. 

7. Wellington (P)

 

Last week: Eighth (+1)

This week: Beat Bay of Plenty 16-15

Came away with a close win over Bay of Plenty, which seems to be their theme this year - four of their five games have been decided by seven points or less. 

8. Waikato (P)

 

Last week: Fifth (-3)

This week: Lost to North Harbour 38-36

A disastrous final 11 minutes for the Mooloos, leading by 17, but blowing that, as North Harbour stormed home.  

9. Taranaki (C)

 

Last week: Sixth (-3)

This week: Lost to Otago 35-27

Didn't look quite in their Ranfurly Shield challenge, they took the lead a couple of times, but made lots of mistakes with ball in hand and missed too many tackles. 

Tough loss. 

10. North Harbour (P)

 

Last week: 11th (+1)

This week: Beat Waikato 38-36

A cracking win for Harbour over Waikato this week. A massive comeback to score 19 points in the final 11 minutes, with Matt McGahan winning the match after the final hooter. 

11. Manawatu (C)

 

Last week: 12th (+1)

This week: Beat Northland 31-25

Finally got a win! It's their first win of the season and it happened to come on Ngani Laumape's first game since being dropped from the All Blacks. 

Southland next week, so they can expect to get a second-straight win.

12. Counties Manukau (P)

 

Last week: 10th (-2)

This week: Lost to Tasman 36-0

The men from Pukekohe had the task of stopping the Mako this week and like all the others so far this season, they couldn't. 

After scoring 20 points in each previous match, they couldn't score at all against Tasman. 

13. Northland (C)

 

Last week: 13th (-)

This week: Lost to Manawatu 31-25

Another loss for the Taniwha, who would be sitting at the bottom of the power rankings, if it wasn't for Southland. Look really good in patches, but struggle to put a full performance together.  

14. Southland (C)

 

Last week: 14th (-)

This week: Lost to Hawke's Bay 41-23

Another week and another loss for the Stags. There's not a lot to say about this side - they just simply need to find a way to win a game. 

Luke Robinson is a Newshub online sports producer.

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