Victorious Tasman on the board

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011    Getty Images

The two championship teams played themselves to a standstill in an exciting encounter at McLean Park that saw Hawke's Bay prop Anthony Perenise sent to the sinbin with nine minutes remaining in the first half.

Tasman had to come from behind twice to earn their first points of the campaign and in the finish it was an Andrew Goodman conversion that was the only thing to split the teams.

Karl Lowe and Adam Bradey scored the Magpies' tries and Richard Buckman chipped in with three penalties.

Mitchell Scott and Mark Bright got the Makos' five pointers with Goodman also kicking three penalties before adding the decisive conversion to Bright's try.

A closely-fought first half eventually swung the Magpies' way when Lowe was driven over from close range to give them a 14-11 lead at the break.

Things had started well for the home side who managed to get points on the board through two Buckman penalties.

The first came after a strong run up field by replacement loose forward Bradey. Buckman doubled the score when Fai Mika was penalised for collapsing the scrum.

But it was Tasman, inspired by the Marshall brothers Tom and James, who looked the more likely to grab the game's opening try and so it proved.

Having wasted one very good opportunity when Robbie Malneek was caught in a crunching tackle and lost the ball when he should have passed out wide to Liam Squire, Makos winger Mitchell squeezed in at the corner to close the gap to a solitary point on 20 minutes.

It was a fine piece of finishing by the left wing who was airborne when he dotted down by the corner flag.

Hawke's Bay replied with another Buckman penalty, but soon found themselves behind and a man down when Perenise was shown a yellow card for deliberately knocking the ball down when Tasman were hot on attack close to the Magpies' line.

It was Goodman's second successful penalty kick within a couple of minutes and it put the visitors 11-9 up.

But Lowe had the final say of the half despite the best efforts of Squire who tried to get himself underneath the openside flanker and the ball.

Seven minutes after the re-start another Goodman penalty levelled the scores and it stayed that way until the 63rd minute thanks to some staunch defending from both sides.

It was Tasman that cracked first when Bradey tidied up from a messy Hawke's Bay scrum five metres from the Makos line to force his way over.

Buckman couldn't add the conversion which proved to be costly five minute later when Tasman turned down a shot at goal and saw Bright drive over and Goodman add the extras to put the visitors in front for the second time in the match.

The Makos captain missed another shot at goal seven minutes from the full-time but it didn't matter as the hung to claim a well-deserved win.

Hawke's Bay 19
Tries: Lowe, Bradey
Pens: Buckman 3

Tasman 21
Tries: Scott, Bright
Cons: Goodman
Pens: Goodman 3

HT: 11-14