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Bay of Plenty squeeze out Taranaki

Fotopress

Sunday, August 28, 2005    allblacks.com    Fotopress

Scoring two tries apiece, it was the Bay's first win of this year's Air New Zealand NPC, but at times it was far from pretty.

Indeed, nothing for the photo album here: with scrappy play punctuated by a rising penalty count, early efforts from both teams were less than memorable.

All that changed in the 14th minute when, having helped his men survive a period of sustained pressure from the visitors, Bay captain Wayne Ormond charged through unchallenged from a lineout on halfway, and cleverly feigned a chip to wrong-foot Taranaki fullback James Hilgendorf and score.

5-0 and first-five Murray Williams failed to extend the lead as aimless kicking crept into the match - although the aerial ping-pong only proved a prelude to more pressure from the Taranaki pack (part of a nearly 70% slice of both territory and possession), with centre Andrew Suniula eventually crossing 6m outside the left-hand upright.

7-5 Taranaki, but Bay of Plenty’s Grant McQuoid had the last word of the first spell. The second-five spotting a gap on the halfway chalk and storming 50m through the Taranaki defence for an outstanding try.

Halftime score: Bay of Plenty 12-7

With Taranaki No 10 Todd Feather unable to resume play, his replacement Sam Young’s first act of the match was a well-taken 42nd minute penalty, closing the margin to just two points.

12-10 Bay of Plenty.

Despite missing several opportunities to snatch the lead via his boot, Young almost sparked more points with a telling run before unforced errors and aimless kicks from both sides helped an air of rugby deja vu settle over the game.

The next points did not come until the 71st minute and the fact they belonged to Bay of Plenty (Williams’ second penalty) belied Taranaki’s continued territorial dominance of this match.

15-10 Bay of Plenty.

Those points must have done something. As though sparked from a deep slumber, Taranaki regained the kick-off and rumbled downfield where flanker Chris Masoe strolled under the bar. Young converted.

But the 17-15 lead was shortlived as Williams landed his second penalty with three minutes remaining and the Bay held on for the win.

Final score: 18-17 Bay of Plenty

Scorers

Bay of Plenty. Tries: Wayne Ormand, Grant McQuoid. Conversions: Murray Williams. Penalties: Williams (2).

Taranaki. Tries: Andrew Suniula, Chris Masoe. Conversions: Todd Feather, Sam Young. Penalties: Young.

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