Unwanted All Blacks Waisake Naholo and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi in Taranaki XV

If the pair are to have any chance of earning a recall for the All Blacks' title defence at the Rugby World Cup in Japan they will have to produce outstanding performances for Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup and also hope injuries strike the national side.

Right wing Naholo and halfback Tahuriorangi were unable to do enough to impress the All Blacks selectors during the Super Rugby season, and as a consequence their chances of being invited to the World Cup plunged.

Taranaki see off Manawatu in Shield defence

Taranaki dominated the set pieces with their scrum particularly strong and led 31-14 at halftime.

The home side outscored Manawatu six tries to three.

Taranaki's next defence if against Waikato in two weeks


Harbour thump Taranaki

North Harbour led 33-19 at half time.

North Harbour scored 10 tries to five, only one of them by a forward, captain and hooker James Parsons, while it was their first win over Taranaki since 2007.

The top qualifiers opted to rest their most experienced players while North Harbour were at near full-strength.

The Harbour winger Tevita Li scored five tries.

The Premiership play-off picture had already been finalised for next weekend, with top seeds Taranaki to host Tasman and Canterbury to host North Harbour.