Magpies edge Taniwha in Napier try-fest

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018    Getty Images

The Magpies had conceded 93 points in their last two matches, and it was easy to see why as Northland piled on 38 points in the first half.


Although credit must go to Jack Debreczeni’s playmaking and Rene Ranger’s electric game-breaking, the Magpies lacked commitment and speed on defence as Northland ran in five first half tries.

Debreczeni was particularly deadly with a number of try assists keeping the score ticking over. He set up fullback Matt Wright for a double with one coming from an accurate cross kick and the other a perfectly weighted long ball. He also set up Rene Ranger with a deft inside ball as two defenders converged.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic in the first half though, with Hawke’s Bay scoring four tries of their own. No.8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u was at the fore front of much of their attack with his strong ball running and electric pace constantly troubling the Taniwha.

A key weapon for the Magpies this year has been their lineout drive and it was there go-to early in the second half.

Replacement hooker Ben Power had only been on the field for ten minutes before he had a double coming from two lineout drives close to the Taniwha line.

With momentum on their side, Hawke’s Bay continued to break the Taniwha line with mid-fielders Stacy Ili and Pasqualle Dunn grabbing doubles.

The main difference for the Magpies in the second half was their defence. The Taniwha couldn’t cross the Magpies line in the second half as home side made their one-on-one tackles and scrambled well anytime Northland made a break.

The win draws Hawke’s Bay level with Waikato on 23 points in the Championship while Northland pick up a four-try bonus point and remain in third place.

Duane Monkley Medal points:
3: Marino Mikaele-Tu’u
2: Tom Parsons
1: Jack Debreczeni

Hawke’s Bay 55 (Gareth Evans, Stacy Ili 2, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Pasqualle Dunn 2, Ben Power 2 tries, JJ Taulagi try, 3 con, Brad Weber 2 con) Northland 41 (Jaycob Matiu, Matty Wright 2, Jordan Hyland, Rene Ranger tries, Jack Debreczeni 2 pen, 5 con)
HT: 24-38