Auckland triumph in the Bay

Sunday, September 4, 2005

yielding 41-30 in their Air New Zealand NPC clash at Mount Maunganui.

Four second half tries, including a fifteen point scoring-spree ten minutes after the break proved enough to see Auckland home.

The bonus-point win now sends them to the the top of the Air New Zealand NPC Division one points table.

Earlier, hard-working wing Anthony Tahana almost gave the homeside the perfect start with a powerful 4th minute surge, but replays showed the No 11’s foot sliding into touch and the TMO agreed. First-five Murray Williams compensated with a penalty shortly afterwards.

As referee Lyndon Bray tightly policed both defensive lines for offside play, Auckland fullback Brent Ward soon had the opportunity to respond in kind, and a try to flanker Daniel Braid followed: 8-3 Auckland

Plenty of expansive play from both sides proved fruitless until the 17th minute - when Bay centre Grant McQuoid burst through on the 10m line and found Aleki Lutui outside him - the hooker doing well to bump off several tacklers and hold up the ball for captain Wayne Ormond to score.

Stepping off his left foot, Bay fullback Adrian Cashmore was the next into the scorebook, taking two defenders over with him as the locals took a 17-8 lead.

As a result of the sin-binning of Bay halfback Charles Hubbard, Auckland’s Ward responded with a second penalty as the half drew to a close.

Halftime: 17-11 Bay of Plenty

Ward’s boot also provided the first points of the second 40. Then came the try of the match: a 65m stunner from Auckland No 11 Tony Koonwaiyou, fending his way along the left-hand touchline with impressive power. His wing-mate Isa Nacewa joined in with one of his own in the 48th minute and suddenly Auckland had a 26-17 lead.

Against the run of play, Lutui hit back for the homeside with a well-taken try - his final act of the game before he was subbed off as Ward and Williams exchanged further penalties and the match entered its final quarter.

A four-point ballgame: 29-25 Auckland. But a try to loose forward Jerome Kaino and a second to Nacewa helped the visitors home.

Still, a little justice in the NPC universe saw a late five points to the Bay... and their considerable efforts rewarded with a four-try bonus point.

Final score: 41-30 Auckland


Auckland. Tries: Daniel Braid, Tony Koonwaiyou, Jerome Kaino, Isa Nacewa (2). Conversions: Brent Ward (2). Penalties: Ward (4).

Bay of Plenty. Tries. Wanye Ormand, Adrian Cashmore, Aleki Latui, John Afoa. Conversions: Murray Williams (2). Penalties: Williams (2)

Your Province. Your Competition. Air New Zealand NPC