Provincial rugby organised in a competition in New Zealand is relatively young and finals date back only to 1992. Auckland have still won most of them.
This was the second ytear in a row that Canterbury and Waikato met in a Final, this time at Waikato Stadium, and for the first time in a Final there were no tries as four kicks beat one kick.
Canterbury one - for the fourth successive time.
The National Provincial Championship in New Zealand started quietly in 1976. It was divided into three divisions - a first division and second division (north) and a second division (south). The teams were into divisions on the basis of their performances during the Seventies. The first division had eleven teams. This division of teams persisted till 1984 with promotion and relegation in operation.
From 1985 to 1991 there were three division - first, second and third - run on a league system. Since 1992 there have again been divisions leading to a final in each division. That is the case in 2008 again.
Waikato won the first final when they thumped Otago 40-5.
A league is fine and deserves its own reward but there is something special about a final, and there is just one a year for each NPC division. But how enthusiastic New Zealanders are about the Finals is not clear. Its does not attract great crowds.
Winners of the NPC
1976: Bay of Plenty
1992: Waikato beat Otago, 40-5
1993: Auckland beat Otago 27-18
1994: Auckland beat North Harbour 22-16
1995: Auckland beat Otago 23-19
1996: Auckland beat Counties Manukau 46-15
1997: Canterbury beat Counties Manukau 44-13
1998: Otago beat Waikato 49-20
1999: Auckland beat Wellington 24-18
2000: Wellington beat Canterbury 34-29
2001: Canterbury beat Otago 30-19
2002: Auckland beat Waikato 40-28
2003: Auckland beat Wellington 41-29
2004: Canterbury beat Wellington, 40-27
2005: Auckland beat Otago 39-11
Air New Zealand Cup
2006: Waikato beat Wellington, 37-31
2007: Auckland beat Wellington 23-14
2008: Canterbury beat Wellington 7-6
2009: Canterbury beat Wellington 28-20
ITM Cup Final
2010: Canterbury vs Waikato, 33-13
2011: Canterbury vs Waikato, 12-3
The NPC has been up for grabs 35 times. A summary of winners would look like this:
2 Otago, Waikato
1 Bay of Plenty, Counties, Manawatu
There have been 20 finals. A summary of the winners would look like this:
1 Wellington, Otago
The number of appearances in finals would look like this:
8 Wellington, Canterbury
1 North Harbour
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