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Hawke's Bay ends win drought

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Sunday, August 29, 2010    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

While the match never rose to any great heights returning All Blacks Israel Dagg and Aaron Cruden will have been glad to have finally got some meaningful game-time under their belts after limited opportunities with the national side over the past few weeks.

Cruden kicked all of his side's points, while four penalties from Daniel Kirkpatrick and a second-half try from Gillies Kaka was enough to give the Magpies a much-needed win and prop Clint Newland something to celebrate in his 100th appearance for the province.

Despite his lack of game time, Cruden looked sharp at first five-eighths for the Turbos.

He made a couple of nice breaks early in the match and was still running strongly at the Magpies defence as the match drew to a close. His distribution skills regularly put the ball runners into space and also encouragingly for the All Blacks coaches, his game management and goal kicking were also solid albeit in a losing cause.

In contrast, Dagg had a relatively quiet match. He made an encouraging start – getting into the action quickly - but didn't really feature in the first half.

He probably wasn't helped by the disjointed nature of the Magpies back line and even though the visitors dominated territory and possession in the first 40 minutes thanks to the efforts of their forwards they could not turn that dominance into points.

Dagg was however, far more prominent in the second spell with his mazy running troubling the tiring Manawatu defence.

The closest either side got to a try in a stop-start first half was when Hawke's Bay hooker Hika Elliot was held up over the line in the ninth minute after a line-out drive.

Instead the teams relied on goal kickers Kirkpatrick and Cruden to keep the scoreboard ticking over with Cruden nailing all of his three attempts in the first 40 minutes.

Kirkpatrick had a penalty shot right on half-time to level the scores but pushed it wide, his first miss of the match.

It didn't take long after the break for Kirkpatrick to level the scores though and as Hawke's Bay continued to dominate territory and possession it was only a matter of time before the first try came.

Surprisingly the visitors had to wait until almost an hour into the game to finally cross the line and it took a neat grubber kick from Zac Guildford to unlock the Turbos defence and allow Gillies Kaka to collect and dot down.

The visitors continued to press for a second try but Dagg's jinking run was the best of their attacking endeavours and only resulted in another penalty for Kirkpatrick who made no mistake and put the game beyond the reach of Manawatu.

Scorers:

Manawatu 9 (Aaron Cruden 3 pen) Hawke's Bay: 17 (Gillies Kaka try: Daniel Kirkpatrick 4 pen). HT: 9-6