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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]

2006 Air New Zealand Cup season
CountriesNew Zealand New Zealand
Date28 July – 21 October 2006
ChampionsWaikato
Runners-upWellington
Matches played70
Tries scored374
(average 5.3 per match)
Top point scorerJimmy Gopperth (Wellington)
121 points
Top try scorerRichard Kahui (Waikato)
8 tries
Official website
www.allblacks.com
2007 →

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 formatEdit

Covering ten weeks, the schedule featured a total of 70 matches. The fourteen unions were grouped by the top three places in each pool, they advanced and secured a spot in the top six. Auckland secured the top position at the start of the second round. Competition points from round one carried over to round two, and teams were seeded according to total points won. If necessary of a tiebreaker, when two or more teams finish on equal points, the union who defeated the other in a head-to-head gets placed higher. In case of a draw between them, the side with the biggest points deferential margin will get rights to be ranked above. If they are tied on points difference, it is then decided by a highest scored try count or a coin toss.[5]

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.

StandingsEdit

Overall
# Team GP W D L PF PA PD BP PTS
1 Waikato 9 7 1 1 277 182 +95 6 36
2 Auckland 9 6 1 2 287 119 +168 8 34
3 RS – North Harbour 9 7 0 2 206 158 +48 3 31
4 Wellington 9 7 1 1 189 165 +24 1 29
5 Canterbury 9 6 0 3 238 156 +82 5 29
6 Otago 9 5 0 4 192 173 +19 4 24
7 Bay of Plenty 3 3 0 0 100 34 +66 2 14
8 Southland 3 2 0 1 55 50 +5 1 9
9 Hawke's Bay 3 2 0 1 63 74 -11 1 9
10 Northland 3 2 0 1 57 85 -28 0 8
11 Taranaki 3 1 0 2 76 60 +16 3 7
12 Tasman 3 1 0 2 87 80 +7 1 5
13 Counties Manukau 3 0 1 2 65 93 -28 3 5
14 Manawatu 3 0 1 2 51 78 -27 0 2

Round-by-roundEdit

Team Points by Round Total Average
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  Auckland 41 10 46 6 29 3 45 27 11 14 23 3 22 22 48 7 22 27 287 119 31.88 13.22
  Bay of Plenty 6 11 7 25 27 45 33 15 23 17 20 16 38 11 35 7 27 16 216 163 24 18.11
  Canterbury 45 0 25 11 22 36 24 7 22 17 32 16 24 26 17 21 27 22 238 156 26.44 17.33
  Counties Manukau 19 23 29 51 17 21 20 23 29 8 16 32 11 38 25 25 29 30 195 251 21.66 27.88
  Hawke's Bay 0 45 0 37 51 29 24 24 23 42 11 15 26 10 7 35 30 29 172 266 19.11 29.55
  Manawatu 10 41 0 43 12 18 15 33 3 11 6 28 10 26 25 25 16 27 97 252 10.77 28
  North Harbour 33 27 22 13 25 7 31 16 3 23 28 6 28 18 21 17 15 31 206 158 22.88 17.55
  Northland 21 36 11 25 6 37 21 17 24 24 21 42 23 17 15 56 19 12 161 266 17.88 29.55
  Otago 23 19 37 0 37 6 24 21 15 8 17 22 18 28 7 48 14 21 192 173 21.33 19.22
  Southland 36 21 14 23 7 24 8 15 8 29 15 11 23 14 20 17 12 19 143 173 15.88 19.22
  Taranaki 14 30 13 22 3 29 18 12 22 15 16 20 17 23 17 20 42 17 162 188 18 20.88
  Tasman 27 33 6 46 43 0 15 22 17 23 25 39 14 23 56 15 17 42 220 243 24.44 27
  Waikato 23 14 36 22 21 24 23 20 42 23 42 21 22 22 37 21 31 15 235 182 26.11 20.22
  Wellington 30 14 11 6 16 31 14 11 11 3 39 25 26 24 21 37 21 14 189 165 21 18.33
Offensive Defensive
Team Tries by Round Total Average
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  Auckland 7 1 8 0 4 0 6 3 1 2 2 0 4 3 6 1 1 3 39 13 4.33 1.44
  Bay of Plenty 0 1 1 3 3 6 3 2 2 2 1 1 4 1 5 1 3 1 22 18 2.44 2
  Canterbury 6 0 4 1 3 5 2 1 3 2 4 1 2 2 2 3 3 1 29 16 3.22 1.77
  Counties Manukau 1 2 4 7 2 3 2 3 5 1 1 4 1 4 3 3 4 3 23 30 2.55 3.33
  Hawke's Bay 0 6 0 5 7 4 3 2 3 5 1 0 4 1 1 5 3 4 22 32 2.44 3.55
  Manawatu 1 7 0 6 2 2 2 3 0 1 0 5 1 4 3 3 1 3 10 34 1.11 3.77
  North Harbour 5 3 2 1 3 1 4 1 0 2 5 0 3 2 3 2 2 4 27 16 3 1.77
  Northland 2 4 1 4 0 4 3 2 2 3 2 6 2 3 2 7 3 0 17 33 1.88 3.66
  Otago 2 1 5 0 4 0 3 2 2 1 2 3 2 3 1 6 1 3 22 19 2.44 2.11
  Southland 4 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 5 0 1 2 1 2 2 0 3 13 20 1.44 2.22
  Taranaki 1 3 1 2 0 4 2 2 3 2 1 1 3 2 2 2 5 2 18 20 2 2.22
  Tasman 3 5 0 8 6 0 2 3 2 2 3 5 1 2 7 2 2 5 26 32 2.88 3.55
  Waikato 2 2 5 3 2 3 3 2 5 3 6 2 3 4 5 3 4 2 35 24 3.88 2.66
  Wellington 3 1 1 0 1 4 2 1 1 0 5 3 2 2 3 5 3 1 21 17 2.33 1.88
Offensive Defensive

Regular seasonEdit

Confirmed fixture matches for 2006 season as follows:

Round 1Edit

Bye/s:   Bay of Plenty,   Waikato

Round 2Edit

Bye/s:   Manawatu,   Counties Manukau

Round 3Edit

Bye/s:   Southland,   Wellington

Round 4Edit

Bye/s:   Tasman,   Hawke's Bay

Round 5Edit

Bye/s:   Canterbury,   North Harbour

Round 6Edit

Bye/s:   Northland,   Taranaki

Round 7Edit

Bye/s:   Auckland,   Otago

Round 8Edit

Round 9Edit

Round 10Edit

FinalsEdit

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
6 October – Wellington
 
 
  Wellington36
 
13 October – Auckland
 
  Canterbury23
 
  Auckland15
 
7 October – Auckland
 
  Wellington30
 
  Auckland46
 
21 October – Hamilton
 
  Bay of Plenty14
 
  Waikato37
 
7 October – Hamilton
 
  Wellington31
 
  Waikato24
 
14 October – Hamilton
 
  Southland12
 
  Waikato44
 
8 October – Albany
 
  Otago15
 
  North Harbour21
 
 
  Otago56
 

Quarter-finalsEdit





Semi-finalsEdit



FinalEdit

21 October 2006
7:35 pm
Waikato  37 – 31   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 Stadium, Hamilton
Attendance: 25,000
Referee:   Bryce Lawrence

Points scorersEdit

Updated: 10 September 2006

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "air new zealand cup 2006 • competition structure" (pdf). 5 July 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. ^ stuff.co.nz (21 October 2006). "Waikato win Air NZ Cup final".
  3. ^ "Air New Zealand Cup launched in grand style". Air New Zealand. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
  4. ^ Commerce Commission New Zealand (21 October 2006). "Rugby Union salary cap authorised for six years". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  5. ^ "NEW ZEALAND RUGBY UNION Competition Regulations Handbook 2016" (pdf). New Zealand Rugby. Retrieved 1 September 2017.