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Farah Palmer Cup: Waikato blow away Manawatū Cyclones to book spot in final

Waikato’s hopes for a first women’s national rugby title remain after booking an appointment with Canterbury for the Farah Palmer Cup final next weekend.

The decision maker will appropriately introduce the only two teams that have not lost a game in the unique format of 2020 after Waikato secured his place on Sunday in the second semi-final in Hamilton with a 31:14 win over the Manawatū Cyclones.

The day before, the three-time defending champions Canterbury had defeated Auckland in the first semi-final in Christchurch 36-21 and thanks to superior average competition points per game during the regular season (in which the north was seen) will have host rights for the flagship project next Saturday to play pool teams one more game than the south side of the pool.

Waikato will travel to Christchurch to face Canterbury in the Farah Palmer Cup final next Saturday.

Masanori Udagawa / Getty Images

Waikato will travel to Christchurch to face Canterbury in the Farah Palmer Cup final next Saturday.

Waikato’s only previous appearance in the final was in 2014 (a loss to Auckland) but they will travel south with some confidence to break the red-black dominance after being unbeaten in a strong North Pool and then raising the hopes of the Cyclones have ruined a premiere -time definitive appearance.

CONTINUE READING:
* Review: Waikato versus Manawatū Cyclones – Farah Palmer Cup Semi-Finals
* Farah Palmer Cup: Canterbury reach fourth consecutive final after overcoming Auckland
* Waikato coach credits the Farah Palmer Cup breakout season to the inspiring sacrifices of the players

In a clash between two teams who had only won one game between them in the Premier League last year, Waikato was always the favorite for that game, against the second seed from the south, and they were committed to a comfortable game, albeit at times untidy and disciplined, exhibition at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Waikato supporter Tanya Kalounivale is indicted in Waikato's semi-final win against Manawatū.

Masanori Udagawa / Getty Images

Waikato supporter Tanya Kalounivale is indicted in Waikato’s semi-final win against Manawatū.

The guests played from behind before they even touched the ball. Waikato regained kick-off and captain Chelsea Alley stepped in in the third minute.

Things quickly got worse for Manawatū, who held a good position on the field but coughed up a jerk penalty. Waikato then marched down and let support Tanya Kalounivale start her 12-0 within 10 minutes.

The Cyclones then took another bad blow at the quarter mark when the first day of five to eight Carys Dallinger came to an end with a nasty blood wound thanks to a headbutt with half-back Lucy Brown that took the No. 10 seven stabs.

For all their dominance of property and territory, the home team still owed a lot of average work in the breakdown. The Cyclones won a ton of penalties for staying afloat and that will undoubtedly be a big focus for Waikato coach James Semple over the coming week.

Manawatū's first five Carys Dallinger were prematurely forced out of the game because of a bad head injury.

Masanori Udagawa / Getty Images

Manawatū’s first five Carys Dallinger were prematurely forced out of the game because of a bad head injury.

However, Manawatū was their worst enemy with fundamental flaws. A couple of possible penalties missed the touch, and from the second on Waikato crashed, with Stacey Fluhler’s good run launching the attack and Alley’s long ball over wing sending winger Cheyelle Robins-Reti eight years before halftime.

After the 19-0 break at break, the Cyclones needed something special and when Robins-Reti received a yellow card two minutes into the second stanza with a joint against Selica Winiata 10 yards from Waikato’s own line, it was theirs Chance.

But then the following lineout throw wasn’t exactly.

Stacey Fluhler made two attempts in the second half to seal the deal in the Waikato semi-finals in Hamilton.

Masanori Udagawa / Getty Images

Stacey Fluhler made two attempts in the second half to seal the deal in the Waikato semi-finals in Hamilton.

Five minutes later, Waikato stuck the nail in the coffin, and Fluhler tracked her fine run with a simple point down as the ball was turned back on a large overlap. In the 56th minute, the New Zealand star of seven made a double pack and rolled 40 meters on the back of a fine load from Carla Hohepa.

Manawatū scored the only attempts of the last quarter – in the 64th minute as a substitute for Halfback Paige Lush and in the 78th minute as winger Rangimarie Sturmey – but it was too little too late.

AT A GLANCE

Waikato 31 (Stacey Fluhler 2, Chelsea Alley, Tanya Kalounivale, Cheyelle Robins-Reti-Attempts; Alley 3 con) Manawatū 14 (Paige Lush, Rangimarie Sturmey tries; Selica Winiata 2 con). HT: 19-0.

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