Bay of Plenty powers home in Napier

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Friday, August 6, 2010    Getty Images

Hawke's Bay had chances to level the game during a sustained third quarter period but mistakes, and solid Bay of Plenty defence denied it and it was the visiting side which finished with a rush and three last quarter tries to seal a bonus point win.

The sides exchanged penalty goals in the first 11 minutes with Andrew Horrell landing the first for Hawke's Bay and Daniel Waenga adding the first three for Bay of Plenty.

Both sides looked to move the ball whenever they could, and Horrell made one mid-field break which opened up acres of space, however he had to kick ahead due to lack of support and it was Bay of Plenty halfback Taniela Moa who regathered the ball and kicked it back downfield.

In the resulting play the home team was forced deep into its 22m area and from a lineout the ball was won by Culum Retallick for Bay of Plenty and a lineout maul resulted. The Bay of Plenty forwards rumbled towards the line and once at the line the maul collapsed and Moa was able to pluck the ball out and put it down for the try in the 24th minute.Horrell added a second penalty goal in the 36th minute.

Bay of Plenty had quick reward after replacing wing Jason Hona with Lelia Masaga at halftime. Some superb work at the breakdown in his own 22m area by flanker Luke Braid saw the ball moved to the left flank where wing Lance MacDonald raced down the wing, veered infield and linked with fullback Toby Arnold to take play five metres from Hawke's Bay line.

The home team was scrambling to get back in defence but the ball emerged from the ruck quickly for the ball to be swung back to the right where second five-eighths Grant McQuoid's lofted pass found Masaga who had too much speed for the defence and he score in the 43rd minute.

Hawke's Bay was competitive when creating chances but too often crucial handling mistakes let it down. Hooker Hika Elliot made one searing break but halfback Kahn Fotuali'i wasn't able to hold a pass from fullback Luke Rooney's pass. Earlier Horrell got through the first line of defence only to be stripped of the ball.

Hawke's Bay had a sustained period of attack with hard-working flanker Karl Lowe going close and Elliot doing some good work. But in a 65th minute backline movement centre Jason Shoemark lost the ball when tackled and it was cleared by Bay of Plenty. Centre Brett Mather raced into space, and when he was stopped he slipped a pass to Waenga who raced 30m to score a game breaker try.

Braid had a fine game, especially at the breakdown, and with No.8 Colin Bourke a constant presence in what was a demanding test of its defences by Hawke's Bay. It was fitting that Bourke should score the final, and bonus point, try.

He raced onto a chip ahead from replacement halfback Chad Tuoro. Hawke's Bay wing Zac Guildford charged in to try and claim the kick on the full but he was unable to secure it and it was Bourke racing through who got the ball, charged down the sideline to chip ahead and regain the ball to score wide out.

Tuoro was back in the action moments later in the 77th minute when he chipped the ball ahead. Hawke's Bay failed to clear the ball in its 22m area when its replacement halfback Chris Eaton was tackled with the ball and Bay of Plenty was onto the ball in a flash and Tuoro saw the gap from the base of the ruck and was over for the try.

Hawke's Bay finally got over the line in the last minute when wings Zac Guildford and Richard Buckman combined for Buckman to get over in the corner.


Hawke's Bay 11 (Andrew Horrell 2 pen) Bay of Plenty 30 (Lelia Masaga, Taniela Moa, Daniel Waenga, Colin Bourke, Chad Tuoro tries; Phil Burleigh con; Waenga pen). HT: 6-8