Steamers steal win in Battle of the Bays


Sunday, August 25, 2013    Gettys

Captain Willie Ripia's gambling habits have come under scrutiny in the past but when he fancied his chances of scoring tries, when points were all but guaranteed from kickable penalties, he came up big.

The gutsy calls saw the Steamers overcome a 10-3 deficit and take the lead for the first time with 20 minutes remaining when Ripia sliced through the defence to score his side's second.

First to cash in was No 8 Joseph Tupe, who only had to hang on to a charging maul that smashed through the Magpies defence from over 10 metres out.

Having dominated possession, territory and the scoreboard for most of the match, Hawke’s Bay's confidence took a hefty blow ahead of next week’s Ranfurly Shield challenge against Otago.

Magpies first-five Ihaia West was at the centre of a sold first-half performance and his uncanny ability to read play was highlighted best when he threw a looping pass over three players to wing Telusa Veainu for a try in the right corner.

Considering the match was decided by four points West will, however, rue the six points he left out on the field with missed shots at goal.

His team-mate, former All Black Zac Guildford, didn't exactly do his side any favours either.

His sin-binning in the final quarter was the catalyst for the resurgence of the home side, who scored 13 points in his absence.

Bay of Plenty were forced to defend for much of the first half, with Ripia scoring their only points with the boot.

The visitors enjoyed over 60 percent each of possession and territory and were awarded a whopping nine penalties.

That trend changed dramatically in the second spell and ironically it was two consecutive penalty goals by Ripia which proved the difference.

West crossed 10 minutes from time to ensure a grandstand finish, but it was not enough as the Steamers notched their first win of the season and kept their hopes of staying in the premiership alive.

Hawke’s Bay: 20 (Telusa Veainu, Ihaia West tries; Ihaia West 2 cons, 2 pens)
Pens: Ihaia West 2

Bay of Plenty: 24 (Joseph Tupe, Willie Ripia tries; Willie Ripia con, 4 pens)

HT: 10-3 Hawke’s Bay