Mitre 10 Cup Power Rankings: Tasman survive stern examination from Taranaki

OPINION: After four rounds, three teams remain unbeaten in Mitre 10 Cup competition - although only one have four wins to their name.

That's the Tasman Mako, who maintain their spot atop the Newshub Mitre 10 Cup power rankings.

Their hard-fought victory over Taranaki - also unbeaten before this week - showed they're the real deal… as if that wasn't already obvious.

They probably face their next real test in three weeks, when they take on Waikato, who held reigning premier champions Auckland to a draw over the weekend.

Auckland are also unbeaten - albeit with two draws to their name - while Hawke's Bay also have a draw in their championship-leading campaign.

Auckland next face a rematch of last year's final against Canterbury, while the Magpies should extend their run against the hapless Southland Stags. 

1. Tasman: (P)

Last week: First (-)

This week: Beat Taranaki 28-18

Faced a true test of their title credentials and passed with flying colours. Inflicted a first lost on Taranaki and showed some mettle to repulse that challenge.

2. Hawke's Bay (C)

Last week: Sixth (+4)

This week: Beat Northland 43-28

They looked impressive this week and continued their unbeaten run in the Mitre 10 Cup this year. Wing Neria Fomai was the star with a hat-trick of tries. 

3. Bay of Plenty (C)

Last week: Fourth (+1)

This week: Beat North Harbour 27-19

Back to winning ways for the Steamers, they played much better than last week, but face a decent Wellington side this week. 

4. Auckland (P)

Last week: Third (-1)

This week: Drew with Waikato 20-20

Another result Auckland would be happy with. Probably deserved to lose this one, but to their credit, they hung around and got a draw - still got a way to go to find their best. 

5. Waikato (P)

Last week: Fifth (-)

This week: Drew with Auckland 20-20

Were unlucky with a draw against the champions, Fletcher Smith missed a huge kick that would've won the game. They take on North Harbour next week. 

mitre 10 cup rankings
Photo credit: Newshub.

6. Taranaki (C)

Last week: Second (-4)

This week: Lost to Tasman 28-18 

The Bulls slide down the rankings this week. They played decent enough against Tasman, but the Mako are far too strong at the moment.

A big match this week, as they take on Otago for the Ranfurly Shield. 

7. Canterbury (P)

Last week: 10th (+3)

This week: Beat Southland 80-0

They finally got a win... and boy was it impressive! The red-and-blacks absolutely thumped the helpless Stags into the ground to get their season underway.

All Black Ryan Crotty was very good in his 40 minutes - they take on Auckland next. 

8. Wellington (P)

Last week: Seventh (-1)

This week: Beat Counties Manukau 29-22

Got away with one this week. For all their possession, the men from the capital were below par, but were able to score a late try to seal the win.

They need to be better against the Steamers next week. 

9. Otago (C)

Last week: 11th (+2)

This week: Beat Manawatu 37-20

Their best game of the season this week against the Turbos. Sevens star Vilimoni Koroi helped them win with a hat-trick of tries. 

Both wins this season have come in Ranfurly Shield games - they have another next week against Taranaki. 

10. Counties Manukau (P)

Last week: Ninth (-1)

This week: Lost to Wellington 29-22

A weird game this week from Counties - they played really average throughout most of the game, but Wellington weren't able to take full advantage. 

Wellington found a winner late in the game, sending Counties home with another loss. 

11. North Harbour (P)

Last week: Eighth (-3)

This week: Lost to Bay of Plenty 27-19

Weren't too bad against the Steamers, but just lacked the composure in places to finish their plays. Missed too many tackles. 

12. Manawatu (C)

Last week: 12th (-)

This week: Lost to Otago 37-20

They hung in the match for most of the Ranfurly Shield challenge. Four games, four losses for the Turbos - Northland next week. 

13. Northland (C)

Last week: 13th (-)

This week: Lost to Hawke's Bay 43-28

Were right in the game for 60 minutes against the Magpies, but were beaten by their class in the final quarter of the match. 

Their only win this year was against Southland, so that's the only team they're above. 

14. Southland (C)

Last week: 14th (-)

This week: Lost to Canterbury 80-0

The Stags slumped to a new low this week - their 25th straight loss in Mitre 10 Cup. Easily the worst team, they should probably be in the Heartland Championship. 

Luke Robinson is a Newshub online sports producer.

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