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Bay back with solid win over Tasman

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Thursday, September 17, 2009    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

First five-eighths Mike Delany's short pass to second five-eighths Phil Burleigh laid the foundation for a 61st minute try. The five-eighths pair have clearly built a fine combination with Burleigh's running off Delany's passes a highly effective weapon.

In this case the cleanness of the break didn't produce immediate results as the ball was lost forward after a pass by supporting flanker Luke Braid. But in the subsequent play some concentrated driving play from the Bay forwards allowed halfback Junior Poluleiligaga to wriggle through for a vital try.

Tasman re-arranged its backline but it lacked cohesion with the ball in hand and failed to make best use of a good supply of ball from its pack.

The sides had been tied up at 10-10 when a Tasman counter-attacking effort which featured some key work by lock Alex Ainley and outstanding hooker Quentin MacDonald before Ainley's earlier contribution was rewarded when he scored beneath the posts in the 46th minute.

The game was fiery at times, never more than after about 30 minutes of the first half when three players were sin-binned by Australian referee Nathan Pearce in the space of three minutes.

There were some good patches of running play in the game and the first try, 15 minutes into the game, Bay of Plenty broke from its own 22m area and as it gained control at a ruck in the Tasman half, Delany threw a long pass which was taken by lock Culum Retallick and he transferred it beautifully with a short pass to second five-eighths Burleigh.

He took the ball at full pace and burst through the first line, sold a dummy to his right and then crossed for the try which Delany converted to bring up 100 points in the competition this year.

Bay of Plenty almost scored again in an in-goal melee but Tasman received a kindly call from Pearce allowed it to recover and in the 30th minute Goodman was finally successful with his third attempt at a penalty goal.

Pearce became the central figure in the latter part of the half for sin-binning Bay of Plenty flanker Luke Braid for continual infringing but then a spear tackle by Tasman halfback Kahn Fotuali'i on Delany saw him also sin-binned, and in the same instance, Bay captain Colin Bourke was sin-binned for punching Tasman lock Joe Wheeler.

Goodman, who had some early problems with his goal-kicking landed the first of his two penalty goals in the 30th minute, as a result of the Braid infringement, landed his second in the 69th minute.

But its hopes of getting closer were undone when replacement first five-eighths Matty James had a clearing kick charged down by No.8 Bourke. He regained the ball and pushed off the scrambling defenders to score.

Scorers:

Bay of Plenty 24 (Phil Burleigh, Junior Poluleuligaga, Colin Bourke tries; Mike Delany 3 con, pen) Tasman 13 (Alex Ainley try; Andrew Goodman con, 2 pen)

HT: 7-3