2006 Air New Zealand Cup

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2006 Air New Zealand Cup season
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato (1st title)
Matches played 70
Tries scored 374 (5.34 per match)
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Jimmy Gopperth (121)
Top try scorer(s) New Zealand Richard Kahui (8)
Official website Official site
(Next) 2007

The 2006 Air New Zealand Cup was the inaugural season of the Air New Zealand Cup, contested by teams from New Zealand. The season ran from July to October 2006. At the end of the regular season, the top team from Repechage A and B joined with teams from the Top Six who entered the quarter-finals, with the winners going through to the semi-finals.[1] The winner of each semi-final qualified for the final, which was contested between Waikato and Wellington, with Waikato winning 37–31 to win the first Air New Zealand Cup title.[2]

This season was the first of the expanded competition, which has succeeded the First Division of the National Provincial Championship. It also saw the introduction of four new teams, Hawke's Bay, Counties Manukau, Manawatu and the newly formed Tasman (a merger of Nelson Bays and Marlborough).[3] On 3 June 2006, the Commerce Commission accepted the NZRU proposal of a salary cap for the Air New Zealand Cup. This was mainly so that the talent pool of players could be spread between the 14 rugby unions.[4]

Competition format[edit]

Covering ten weeks, the schedule featured a total of 70 matches. The 14 teams were grouped by the top three places in each pool, highlighted in green, advance to the Top Six in Round two. Auckland secured the top position at the start of Round two. Competition points from Round one carry over to Round two, and teams are seeded according to points total. If necessary, tiebreakers are employed at the end of Rounds one and two in the following order:

  • The most recent head-to-head result between the tied teams in that season.
  • Difference in overall points scored.
  • Total number of tries scored.
  • Coin flip.

Three teams receive two home fixtures in Round Two:

  • The first-place teams in each pool (Auckland in Pool A, Waikato in Pool B).
  • The higher-ranked of the two second-place teams (Canterbury, which won a tiebreaker by virtue of a better point differential than North Harbour).

The remaining three teams receive only one home fixture apiece.

Similarly, the top two teams in each repechage pool, based on competition points earned in Round one (with tiebreakers applied as needed), earn two home fixtures in Round two, with the other teams receiving one apiece. Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau earned the extra home fixture in Repechage A, while Southland and Taranaki earned this privilege in Repechage B.

In Round two saw each team in the competition played three fixtures in this round. In the Top Six, each team played the three teams that it did not play in Round one. Each team in the repechage pools played the other teams in its pool once.

For the teams in the Top Six, competition points carried over from Round one. All Top Six teams advanced to the quarterfinals, with their seedings determined by their positions at the end of Round two.

In the two repechage pools, competition points did not carry over from Round one. The top team in each pool at the end of Round two advanced to the quarterfinals. The two repechage winners received the seventh and eighth seeds, determined based on competition points at the end of Round two.

At the end of Week 9, Auckland, Waikato and North Harbour secured home quarter-finals. Bay of Plenty secured the top spot in Repechage A. In Repechage B, Taranaki dropped out of contention for the top spot.

After defeating Manawatu in Week 10, Bay of Plenty clinched the higher placing of the two repechage quarter-final slots. Also in Week 10, Otago's loss to Wellington placed Otago at the bottom of the Top 6 going into the quarter-finals. The fourth home quarter-final went to Wellington; although Canterbury defeated Auckland, they did not earn the bonus point they needed to pass Wellington on the table. Wellington's victory over Canterbury in Week 8 gave them the advantage in the tiebreaker.

Southland earned the top spot in Repechage B by means of a 19-12 bonus-point loss to Northland, putting them one point ahead of the Taniwha.

The battle for the top overall seed came down to the final match in pool play. Waikato claimed the top seed by defeating North Harbour. Regardless of the Waikato-Harbour result, Auckland was assured of no worse than the second seed they eventually received. Harbour received the third seed.

Standings[edit]

Pool A
Pos. Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1 Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland 6 5 0 1 195 63 +132 5 25
2 Harbour.png North Harbour 6 5 0 1 142 92 +50 3 23
3 Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington 6 5 0 1 121 90 +31 1 21
4 Bopcolours.png Bay of Plenty 6 3 0 3 116 129 -13 1 13
5 Naki.png Taranaki 6 2 0 4 86 128 -42 1 9
6 Makos.png Tasman 6 1 0 5 133 163 -30 4 8
7 Turbos.png Manawatu 6 0 0 6 46 174 -128 1 1


Pool B
Pos. Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1 Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato 6 5 0 1 187 124 +63 4 24
2 CanterburyColours.png Canterbury (RS) 6 5 0 1 170 87 +93 3 23
3 Otagorugby.png Otago 6 5 0 1 153 76 +77 3 23
4 Southland.png Southland 6 2 0 4 88 123 -35 2 10
5 CountiesAirNZ.png Counties Manukau 6 1 0 5 130 158 -28 5 9
6 Hawkes Bay Air NZ Cup colours.png Hawke's Bay 6 1 1 4 109 192 -83 2 8
7 NLTaniwha.png Northland 6 1 1 4 104 181 -77 0 6


Key to colours
     Top three teams advance to Top Six.
(RS) Ranfurly Shield holders

Legend:

  • Pld = Games Played, W = Games Won, D = Games Drawn, L = Games Lost, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, PD = Points Difference, BP = Bonus Points, Pts = Log Points

Points breakdown:

  • 4 points for a win
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 1 bonus point for a loss by seven points or less
  • 1 bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match
  • In the event of a two-team tie on points the ranking of teams is decided by:

(1) the most recent head-to-head result between the tied teams in that season; then
(2) difference in overall points scored; then
(3) total number of tries scored; then
(4) a coin flip.

Top Six
Pos. Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1 Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato 9 7 1 1 277 182 +95 6 36
2 Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland 9 6 1 2 287 119 +168 8 34
3 Harbour.png North Harbour (RS) 9 7 0 2 206 158 +48 3 31
4 Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington 9 7 1 1 189 165 +24 1 29
5 CanterburyColours.png Canterbury 9 6 0 3 238 156 +82 5 29
6 Otagorugby.png Otago 9 5 0 4 192 173 +19 4 24


Repechage A
Pos. Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1 Bopcolours.png Bay of Plenty 3 3 0 0 100 34 +66 2 14
2 Hawkes Bay Air NZ Cup colours.png Hawke's Bay 3 2 0 1 63 74 -11 1 9
3 CountiesAirNZ.png Counties Manukau 3 0 1 2 65 93 -28 3 5
4 Turbos.png Manawatu 3 0 1 2 51 78 -27 0 2


Repechage B
Pos. Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1 Southland.png Southland 3 2 0 1 55 50 +5 1 9
2 NLTaniwha.png Northland 3 2 0 1 57 85 -28 0 8
3 Naki.png Taranaki 3 1 0 2 76 60 +16 3 7
4 Makos.png Tasman 3 1 0 2 87 80 +7 1 5


Key to colours
     Top team advance to Quarter-finals.
(RS) Ranfurly Shield holders

Regular Season[edit]

The results of the season were as follows:

Week 1[edit]

Bye/s: Bopcolours.png Bay of Plenty, Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato

Week 2[edit]

Bye/s: Turbos.png Manawatu, CountiesAirNZ.png Counties Manukau

Week 3[edit]

Bye/s: Southland.png Southland, Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington

Week 4[edit]

Bye/s: Makos.png Tasman, Hawkes Bay Air NZ Cup colours.png Hawke's Bay

Week 5[edit]

Bye/s: CanterburyColours.png Canterbury, Harbour.png North Harbour

Week 6[edit]

Bye/s: NLTaniwha.png Northland, Naki.png Taranaki

Week 7[edit]

Bye/s: Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland, Otagorugby.png Otago

Week 8[edit]

Week 9[edit]

Week 10[edit]

Finals[edit]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                   
6 October – Wellington        
 Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington  36
13 October – Auckland
 CanterburyColours.png Canterbury  23  
 Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland  15
7 October – Auckland
     Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington  30  
 Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland  46
21 October – Hamilton
 Bopcolours.png Bay of Plenty  14  
 Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato  37
7 October – Hamilton    
   Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington  31
 Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato  24
14 October – Hamilton
 Southland.png Southland  12  
 Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png Waikato  44
8 October – Albany
     Otagorugby.png Otago  15  
 Harbour.png North Harbour  21
 Otagorugby.png Otago  56  
 

Quarter-finals[edit]

Semi-finals[edit]

Final[edit]

21 October 2006
7:35 pm
WaikatoWaikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png 37 – 31 Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington
Try: Byron Kelleher (2)
Richard Kahui
Brendon Leonard
Con: David Hill (4)
Pen: David Hill (3)
Report Try: Ma'a Nonu (2)
Tana Umaga
Con: Jimmy Gopperth (2)
Pen: Jimmy Gopperth (4)
Waikato
FB 15 Mils Muliaina
RW 14 Sosene Anesi
OC 13 Richard Kahui
IC 12 David Hill
LW 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu
FH 10 Stephen Donald
SH 9 Byron Kelleher
N8 8 Sione Lauaki
OF 7 Marty Holah
BF 6 Steven Bates (c)
RL 5 Keith Robinson
LL 4 Jono Gibbes
TP 3 Nathan White
HK 2 Tom Willis
LP 1 Craig West
Substitutes:
Bn 16 Scott Linklater
Bn 17 Aled de Malmanche
Bn 18 Toby Lynn
Bn 19 Liam Messam
Bn 20 Brendon Leonard
Bn 21 Dwayne Sweeney
Bn 22 Roy Kinikinilau
Coach:
New Zealand Warren Gatland
Wellington
FB 15 Shannon Paku
RW 14 Ma'a Nonu
OC 13 Conrad Smith
IC 12 Tana Umaga (c)
LW 11 Cory Jane
FH 10 Jimmy Gopperth
SH 9 Piri Weepu
N8 8 Rodney So'oialo
OF 7 Ben Herring
BF 6 Jerry Collins
RL 5 Luke Andrews
LL 4 Ross Filipo
TP 3 John Schwalger
HK 2 Mahonri Schwalger
LP 1 Joe McDonnell
Substitutions:
Bn 16 Luke Mahoney
Bn 17 Anthony Perenise
Bn 18 Jeremy Thrush
Bn 19 Chris Masoe
Bn 20 Alby Mathewson
Bn 21 Miah Nikora
Bn 22 Lome Fa'atau
Coach:
New Zealand John Plumtree

Points Scorers[edit]

Updated: 13 August 2006

References[edit]

  1. ^ "air new zealand cup 2006 • competition structure" (pdf). Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  2. ^ stuff.co.nz (October 21, 2006). "Waikato win Air NZ Cup final". 
  3. ^ "Air New Zealand Cup launched in grand style". Air New Zealand. Retrieved 13 July 2006. 
  4. ^ Commerce Commission New Zealand (October 21, 2006). "Rugby Union salary cap authorised for six years".