With a draw now locked in for the remainder of the Bunnings NPC season, teams have everything to play for. There are four regular season rounds remaining, with each round consisting of four competition matches and one ‘friendly’. Northland and Otago kick things off this weekend in Rotorua, before two of the in-form teams in Waikato and Taranaki face off at the Tauranga Domain on Saturday afternoon.
All Blacks great Ma'a Nonu's list of rugby credits, which include two World Cup winner's medals, could be extended should he take the field from the bench in East Coast's Bunnings Heartland game with Buller in Ruatoria.
Absorbing the lessons of two demanding Tests against South Africa, and preparing for more challenges, has been the focus for the All Blacks ahead of their five-Test northern hemisphere tour that starts with a 4 am departure on Sunday.