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Robinson's boot punishes Tasman

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Friday, August 27, 2010    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

Robinson kicked seven penalty goals from eight attempts as the Stags won their fifth consecutive game to stay at the top of the competition.

It was a dour game, played on a heavy surface, but captain Jamie Mackintosh and loosies Elliot Dixon Dixon and John Hardie had big games as Southland gutsed it out.

Fullback Mark Wells was the pick of the backs while centre Kenny Lynn also had a strong match.

Tasman deseved its bonus point. Kade Poki, Blair Cook and James Marshall were impressive in the backs while Joe Wheeler and Jonathon Poff were energetic loose forwards.

Southland went into the game on 17 points with four consecutive wins while Tasman had eight points after wins over Hawkes Bay and Canterbury at home in the last two rounds. Southland had won all three previous games against the Makos.

Southland was weakened by the late withdrawal of Glen Horton, Tim Boys and Chris King with minor injuries and the early exchanges were even, Alfeld kicking two penalties for Tasman and Robinson replying with two for the Stags.

Kade Poki broke clear for Tasman and only a desperate tackle by Robinson saved a probable try.

Tasman continued to give at least as good as it received against a Southland side which lacked its usual sharpness.

The Makos had a slight advantage in territory and possession but the Stags did not help themselves. They conceded 13 turnovers to seven and made six handling errors compared to two by Tasman.

Southland scored first in the second spell, Robinson kicking his third penalty when Fai Mika was penalised for a high tackle.

In what had become a war of attrition, Robinson kicked his fourth penalty after 16 minutes of the half to extend the Stags' lead to 12-6.

Down by six points, Tasman began to launch all-out attacks and it was only desperate defence by Southland which kept their line intact.

Southland worked its way back into Tasman territory and, when prop Sam Prattley infringed, Robinson kicked his fifth penalty to make it 15-6.

Five minutes from the end Tasman's discipline cost it again as Robinson kicked his sixth penalty, from 43 metres, to increase the lead to 18-6.

But right wing Blair Cook scored under the posts four minutes from the end, James Marshall converted, and it was game on at 18-13.

Scorers were:

Tasman 16 (Blair Cook try: James Marshall con, pen: Steve Alfeld 2 pen) Southland 21 (Robbie Robinson 7 pen). HT: 6-6.