The Manawatu Mustangs and their contingent of Whanganui Boxon players will not be progressing on in the NZRL National Championship, after the Wellington Orcas were comfortable 50-22 winners over the Taranaki Sharks at Wise Park in Wainuiomata on Saturday.

Wellington will now advance as the qualifier from the Central Regional Pool to take on the Northern and Southern pool winners.

The Mustangs, under Whanganui coach Haze Reweti, have been made up of players from just two clubs – Boxon and Linton – but still gave Wellington a huge scare in their 28-26 loss in Palmerston North on August 18.

The Mustangs recovered to beat Taranaki 30-26 in Oakura the following weekend, but then needed the Sharks to upset the Orcas and hope to advance on points differential.