Northland runs rampant over Manawatu

Getty Images

Sunday, August 15, 2010    Getty Images

The win surpassed the 45-24 win over Manawatu in 2008 and when centre and captain Jared Payne crossed for his third try of the day, which also brought up the half-century for Northland it also broke the record for most tries in a game at seven and Payne, with his fourth try surpassed Francis Smith record of three tries for the side.

The loss was also Manawatu's worst, surpassing the 64-10 loss it had to Canterbury in 2007 and the final margin of 69 points also surpassed the 54 against Canterbury.

Two late tries to fullback Lachie Munro carried him to a record points haul of 32 points, surpassing the 24 he scored against Taranaki last year.

Northland dominated the tight exchanges and set pieces with locks Pat O'Connor and Mark Burman thriving both in the tight and loose with two O'Connor turnovers at the tackle resulting in tries. Blindside flanker Dean Budd was another to shine.

But Payne, and kicker Lachie Munro who score

Manawatu paid dearly for its litany of mistakes in what was little short of a nightmare for it.

Northland moved the ball wide at every opportunity with veteran first five-eighths David Holwell judging his passing perfectly. He found centre Jared Payne persistently through the early stages and he tore gaps through the Manawatu backs.

But in the ninth minute it was a steal by lock Pat O'Connor that provided the first opportunity of the game. The ball was moved to left wing Bryce Heem. He raced down the left flank and after a breakdown if was flanker Dean Budd who took the ball up and then fed his fellow loose forward Day Pryor into a gap through which he raced on the angle to score the opening try of the game.

Penalty goals either side of the try by fullback Lachie Munro took Northland to a 13-3 lead in the first quarter, Manawatu's points coming from a penalty goal landed by fullback Craig Clare.

After an incident which saw Munro and Manawatu flanker Doug Tietjens sin-binned ,Northland made the play in the Manawatu 22m area with Holwell slipping a grubber kick through for Payne to race through and win the touchdown as just reward for his earlier work.

Manawatu went on the attack and from a planned move at a lineout in the 31st minute hooker Rob Foreman drove upfield and halfback Aaron Smith took the ball to within centimetres of the line and from the ruck prop Ma'afu Fia was able to get low enough to drive over for the try.

Just on halftime it was another O'Connor turnover at a tackle which unleashed the rampant home team. Halfback Rhyan Caine tore across field and then linked with Pryor, Munro, who had just come back onto the field and Payne to set Heem flying down his flank. An in-pass to Payne saw him race over for his second try.

A dreadful mistake two minutes after the restart by Manawatu second five-eighths Hadleigh Parkes saw Holwell take an attempted chip kick on the Manawatu 22m line and run in untouched for a simple try to claim the bonus point for his side.

Caine had his reward for a busy day when running the blind from a set scrum where he took the pass from his No.8 Cameron Eyre to race through a gap for the try.

Burman had his reward in the 55th minute when capping off a good day with a try which resulted from a lineout win which saw second five-eighths Aaron Bancroft charge ahead, find replacement hooker Tim Dow supporting. From the ruck the ball was returned to the right where Payne's quick flick on was taken by Burman who was unchallenged for his try.

Scorers: Northland 77 (Dan Pryor, Jared Payne 4, David Holwell, Rhyan Caine, Mark Burman, Lachie Munro 2 tries; L Munro 8 con, 2 pen; David Holwell con, pen) Manawatu 8 (Ma'afu Fia try; Craig Clare pen). HT: 30-8