The 2006 Air New Zealand Cup
is a provincial rugby union
competition involving 14 teams from New Zealand
. Matches started on Friday 28 July 2006, and the Grand Final was won by Waikato
on 21 October 2006.
This season was the first of the expanded competition, which has succeeded the First Division of the National Provincial Championship
. It also saw the introduction of four new teams, Hawke's Bay
, Counties Manukau
and the newly-formed Tasman
(a merger of Nelson Bays and Marlborough). On 3 June 2006, the Commerce
Commission accepted the NZRU
proposal of a salary cap for the Air New Zealand Cup. This was mainly so that the talent pool of players could be spread between the 14 rugby unions.
The top three places in each pool, highlighted in gray, advance to the Top Six in Round Two. Auckland secured the top position at the start of Round Two. Competition points from Round One carry over to Round Two, and teams are seeded according to points total. If necessary, tiebreakers are employed at the end of Rounds One and Two in the following order:
- The most recent head-to-head result between the tied teams in that season.
- Difference in overall points scored.
- Total number of tries scored.
- Coin flip.
Three teams receive two home fixtures in Round Two:
- The first-place teams in each pool (Auckland in Pool A, Waikato in Pool B).
- The higher-ranked of the two second-place teams (Canterbury, which won a tiebreaker by virtue of a better point differential......