Hawke's Bay gets home in last minute

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Friday, October 2, 2009    Getty Images

They had to battle all the way however and it wasn't until Dagg placed a perfectly-weighted kick towards the corner where the bounce suited Guildford to cross for the match-winner, his side's only try of the night, in the 80th minute of the game.

Delany and Bourke looked to have denied Hawke's Bay.

The pair produced respective try-saving tackles, while Delany's goal-kicking, and fine support play from an outstanding midfield break by Bourke three minutes into the second half, and try-scoring ability helped his side recover a 6-9 half-time deficit to go to a 13-9 lead.

He extended that to 16-9 before Hawke's Bay's own goal-kicker Matt Berquist landed his fourth penalty goal of the night.

The only try-scoring prospect in the first went to Hawke's Bay but was snuffed out by Bourke.

Berquist made a superb break 15 minutes into the game from his own 22m line. He fed hooker Hika Elliot who then found No.8 Thomas Waldrom who in turn fed lock Michael Johnson.

He got the ball to wing Zac Guildford and he went to ground with the ball moved to the right where wing Jason Kupa was halted in a try-saving tackle by Bourke.

But in attempting to secure the ball over the sideline from Johnson, Bourke was deemed to have offended in trying to clear with his foot in a stomping movement.

Bourke was sin-binned and Berquist took three points from the penalty goal.

Soon after Bay of Plenty scored, Hawke's Bay fullback Israel Dagg made a fine break and a try seemed certain as he fed inside to centre Jason Shoemark. But it was Delany who pulled him down to kill the move.

Berquist set up a tight finish for the game when landing his fifth penalty goal 19 minutes out from full-time.

Hawke's Bay produced some fine continuity play with Dagg and Guildford working their own magic with Waldrom and Johnson constantly in support. Their work built on a solid scrummaging effort from the Hawke's Bay pack.

Halfback Junior Poluleiligaga gave Delany some fine service and made his own contribution to field position with some deftly-placed kicks from base of the scrum.

Hawke's Bay did have a chance to snatch the lead eight minutes from the end when a Berquist chip through wasn't controlled and second five-eighths Andrew Horrell was able to make use of a fly-kick but it rebounded off a Bay of Plenty player and in attempting to pick it up and run into open space, Horrell knocked the ball on.

A bad mistake by prop Faka'anaua Taumalolo when he impeded fullback Toby Arnold's chase for a kick ahead allowed Delany to kick his fourth penalty goal to take Bay of Plenty out to 19-15.

However, Hawke's Bay hunted until the final whistle and had its belated reward.

Bay of Plenty 19 (Mike Delany try, con, 4 pen) Hawke's Bay 22 (Zac Guildford try; Matt Berquist con, 5 pen ). HT: 6-9