Counties Manukau crowned champions

New Zealand Rugby

Onside Online     13 Oct 2016     New Zealand Rugby

Having guaranteed themselves a home Final, Counties Manukau beat Auckland 41-22 in today’s Farah Palmer Cup Final at ECOLight Stadium Pukekohe.  Counties Manukau have been the team to beat all competition, having completed the perfect season with nine wins from nine games.

Read more about the Final action in our online match report.

Their elevation to national champions ends a remarkable era for Auckland who have been NPC champions every year since 1999 except in 2006 (won by Wellington).

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Neil Sorensen congratulated Counties Manukau on their historic win.

“I am so excited for both teams who were today’s Final.  For Auckland – they have worked hard every year to retain their right to contest the Final.  But I am just delighted that Counties Manukau will take home the silverware, and claim the first Farah Palmer Cup title and their first national championship.

“I also want to acknowledge all nine provinces that competed this year.  Every year this competition grows and matures, and the players rightly deserve to be recognised for their skill, commitment, and passion for women’s rugby.

“I know that these teams have provided Black Ferns selectors with a few headaches as they narrow their selections for the Black Ferns 2016 squad for their domestic Test season and end of year tour to the UK,” he said.

Former Black Ferns Captain and competition namesake Dr Farah Palmer was on hand in Auckland to present the Cup – which now bears her name – to Counties Manukau skipper Arihiana Marino.

“It is so exciting to see so many women playing their hearts out in this competition which is where my own love for rugby began.

Congratulations to both teams in today’s Final – but a special congratulations to Counties Manukau on being crowned 2016 champions,” Palmer said.