> I will be very annoyed if Counties get relegated this year. It is
>unfair on them when Southland should hae been relegated last year and
>still look the weakest team this year. More mainland bias, and you can
>take that one to the bank.
When the NPC first started out it was made up of 7 North Island teams &
4 South Island teams. At the end of each season the lowest finishing
North Island team was relegated while the bottom placed South Island
team played off with the top South Island second division team, which
meant that there would always be 4 South island teams in the top
division. Naturally this turned out to be a farce when Taranaki were
relegated in 1979 even though they had finished the season higher than
three South Island teams.
Despite Southland's awful NPC record over the last few seasons, the
NZRFU seem determined to keep them at the top level. One year they
suddenly decide that relegation will no longer apply even though
Southland finish last. Another season they tell the Central Vikings that
they can't be promoted because they aren't a provincial side as such but
maybe next season. (Then they get disbanded). Now you have to apply for
first division status even if you win the second division.
I bet if Counties finish last, the NZRFU wont be so hesitant in
replacing them with a team like Bay of Plenty or Hawkes Bay.