2006 Air New Zealand Cup Final

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2006 Air New Zealand Cup Final
Event 2006 Air New Zealand Cup
Date 21 October 2006
Venue Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Referee Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
2007

The 2006 Air New Zealand Cup final was contested on 21 October 2006 by Waikato and Wellington. Waikato won 37–31 to give them their first Air New Zealand Cup title. The match was the last of the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup season, and was hosted by Waikato at Waikato Stadium. It was the first final in the history of the domestic rugby competition. Waikato had qualified highest during the regular season, while Wellington qualified fourth.

Waikato won their semi-final, where they beat Otago 44–15. Wellington travelled to Auckland where they beat Auckland in their semi-final. Waikato hosted the final after qualifying higher than Wellington, who had to travel back from Auckland for the match.

Road to the final[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


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


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  
 

Match[edit]

Summary[edit]

Waikato claimed the Air New Zealand Cup with a four tries to three 37–31 win over Wellington in ideal conditions in Hamilton.

The final margin suggested a closer match than was actually the case. Waikato dominated for long periods of the game. When Waikato's replacement halfback Brendon Leonard went over from a scrum just out from the Wellington line after 71 minutes, Waikato Stadium's full house of 25,000 rejoiced. They knew they had their first national title since 1992.

There was a momentary concern for fans when Wellington wing Ma'a Nonu scored his second try, two minutes later, and when captain Tana Umaga scored with less than a minute remaining but Wellington was still six points behind and the damage had been done. Flanker Marty Holah was outstanding in the rucks and mauls for Waikato while halfback Byron Kelleher had his most competitive appearance in recent weeks. Locks Keith Robinson and Jono Gibbes kept the pressure on the Wellington lineout which was its shoddiest of the year.

At crucial lineouts its execution was deficient on too many occasions. David Hill, who is also leaving for the northern hemisphere, kicked 17 points for Waikato.

Wellington was forced to battle without its leading prop Neemia Tialata, who did not start, and then it lost Joe McDonnell halfway through the first half. That brought Anthony Perenise on to the tighthead side of the scrum for only his third first-class appearance.

It was a significant loss, more in terms of the leadership Tialata brought to the forward effort over the past few weeks. The match, in front of a capacity crowd of just over 25,000, started at breakneck speed with both teams throwing passes with gay abandon and it was Wellington that had the first success with a seventh minute penalty goal to first five-eighths Jimmy Gopperth.

Two Waikato errors, an accidental offside from a lineout move, and knock-ons by Kelleher and wing Sitiveni Sivivatu cost it 70 metres in ground. Wellington then made its own mistake with a lineout throw taken by Holah and it stormed back into the Wellington half. And when captain and flanker Steven Bates won a clean lineout take, the ball was spun and while second five-eighths David Hill took a big hit, his transfer to wing Sosene Anesi was inch perfect and he burst into a gap and when tackled he found centre Richard Kahui on hand to race in for the opening try. Hill got up from his tackle and landed the conversion.

Gopperth landed his second penalty goal after 19 minutes to get Wellington back to within one point at 6–7.

Waikato used its lineout to good effect to set up its second try, scored after 27 minutes by Kelleher. Several drives were made at the line with lock Keith Robinson hit in a big tackle by flanker Jerry Collins. However, Waikato controlled the ball provided under the posts by the halfback. Wellington then fouled its own chance with indecisive ball from a scrum. Gopperth was forced to tidy a poor pass from halfback Piri Weepu and in the tackle by Holah the ball was lost with Waikato clearing downfield.

Wellington regained the ball from a turnover, the ball was moved left, then right, and No.8 Rodney So'oialo sold a big dummy to Kahui. He sped through the gap and after drawing the defence found the flying Nonu in support and he scored beneath the posts. Gopperth's conversion made the score 13–14. A 36th minute penalty goal to Hill gave Waikato its lead.

The second half had a controversial start when from a Wellington scrum about 10m out from its line Holah kicked the ball through and as Weepu waited for the ball to cross the line, he found Kelleher sliding through to win the try. Hill landed a splendid conversion to take Waikato out to 24–13. Gopperth and Hill exchanged penalty goals in the ninth and 13th minutes.

Details[edit]

21 October 2006
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)
allblacks.com Try: Ma'a Nonu (2)
Tana Umaga
Con: Jimmy Gopperth (2)
Pen: Jimmy Gopperth (4)
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: New Zealand Bryce Lawrence
Waikato
Wellington
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

External links[edit]