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North Harbour book final NPC play-off spot

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/10/2016
File pic of Matt Duffie © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images File pic of Matt Duffie

North Harbour have completed the NPC play-off picture by beating hapless Northland 44-28 to book a place in the championship division semi-finals.

The six-tries-to-four win in Whangarei leaves North Harbour third and contemplating a semi-final away to Wellington next week.

Top qualifers Otago will host Bay of Plenty, with fifth-placed Manawatu the team to miss out courtesy of North Harbour's strong finish to the season.

Their performance on Sunday came four days after securing a 27-27 draw with premiership outfit Tasman, setting them up for a first semi-final appearance since the NPC split into two divisions in 2011.

Northland crash to the wooden spoon for a second consecutive year, having won just once this season.

Wing Matt Duffie scored two of North Harbour's four first-half tries as they opened up a 32-7 advantage.

First five-eighth Bryn Gatland kicked 14 points, to the approval of his father who was watching from the grandstand - Wales and British and Irish Lions Warren Gatland.

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