Auckland sent a strong message to the competition on day one of the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament, with a 71-5 victory over Manawatu in their opening match.
They will face traditional rivals Canterbury in the Graham Mourie Cup semi finals, while defending champions, Waikato, have advanced and will play North Harbour in the other semifinal.
Looking for a third consecutive Michael Jones Trophy title, Counties Manukau were pushed hard today by Otago, but secured a 15-13 victory to keep their title defence alive.
The Heartland team showed the benefits of an improved preparation with a 19-16 win over Auckland Development, Mid Canterbury’s Tomas Hanham-Carter scoring all of the points for the winning side.
Elsewhere, Hawke’s Bay and Southland also claimed day one victories.
Semifinal matches are scheduled for Wednesday, tomorrow will see players take part in professional development sessions and position-specific training.
Michael Jones Trophy
Hawke’s Bay 25 – Northland 14
Counties Manukau 15 - Otago 13
Heartland 19 - Auckland Development 16
Southland 32 - Taranaki 28
Graham Mourie Cup
Waikato 28 – Tasman 11
North Harbour 30 – Wellington 27
Canterbury 23 - Bay of Plenty 21
Auckland 71 – Manawatu 5
Play off matches
10.45am Tasman v Wellington
10.45am Northland v Otago
12.30pm Bay of Plenty v Manawatu
12.30pm Auckland Development v Taranaki
Michael Jones Trophy Semi Finals
2.15pm Hawke’s Bay v Counties Manukau
4pm Heartland v Southland
Graham Mourie Cup Semi Finals
2.15pm Waikato v North Harbour
4pm Canterbury v Auckland
Finals – 16 September
The Michael Jones Trophy (3.20pm) and Graham Mourie Cup (5pm) will be broadcast live on SKY. Other broadcast matches include the playoff for 11th/12th (12pm) and 3rd/4th (1.40pm).