Waikato stun Auckland in Hamilton
Saturday, September 14, 2013 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Rory Grice, Brad Weber, Wharenui Wharewera and Semisi Masirewa had the visitors, placed second in the premiership, stunned and trailing by 28-12 at the break.
Then Weber and fullback Trent Renata timed their run perfectly and put the result beyond doubt in the second spell as Waikato slipped into fourth on the ladder with games remaining in the round.
Renata (17 points) was perfect with the boot and ensured Waikato still had an 11-point lead when Auckland secured their own four-try bonus point via lock Liaki Moli.
Meanwhile, Piri Weepu will rue the 10 points he left out on the field after a forgettable day with the kicking tee.
Wayne Pivac's voice would have been ringing through Auckland's changing room at half-time after they dominated 63 percent of possession and conceded no penalties, compared to Waikato's seven, but let themselves down on defence.
Grice crossed the whitewash thanks to a couple of forwards that joined in to drive him over from close range.
Weber, a loan player from Otago, doubled the blow with a piece of individual brilliance that saw him beat three defenders after he picked up from the ruck.
Waikato grabbed their third try when Wharewera stuck his head in a dark place and came out with five points.
When Masirewa dotted down unopposed it was all one way traffic and the Waikato Stadium faithful were in full voice.
His effort was bookended by tries to Auckland captain Hadleigh Parkes and Patrick Tuipulotu.
The New Zealand U20 lock appeared to notch a double moments before the break, however, upon TMO review it was found that hooker Tom McCartney had knocked on in the lead-up.
The second half started slower but when Vince Aso crossed the line for Auckland it was game on.
Just as they had done before, Waikato responded almost instantly when Weber pounced on a mistake by Peter Saili to dart across for his second.
Moli gave the blue and white hoops a glimmer of hope but Renata quickly negated his effort when he beat his man to slam the ball down in the right corner.
Waikato: 42 (Rory Grice, Brad Weber 2, Wharenui Wharewera, Semisi Masirewa, Trent Renata tries; Renata 6 con) Auckland: 24 (Hadleigh Parkes, Patrick Tuipulotu, Vince Aso, Liaki Moli tries; Piri Weepu 2 con) HT: 28-12
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