Mitre 10 Cup Review - Week 7
Sunday, September 22, 2019 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
Wellington dished out a hefty loss for defending champions Auckland on Sunday afternoon.
In the Mitre 10 Championship, Otago were boosted by a crossover win against North Harbour, something their southern neighbours Southland also managed when ending their win drought with a win over Counties Manukau in Invercargill.
Results from Week Seven were:
Canterbury 29 Manawatu 32
Manawatu have provided some boilovers against Canterbury down through the years and they pulled off another one this week. It is not terminal for Canterbury's playoffs hopes and has given Manawatu every chances of pushing for a playoffs place in the Championship. They are fourth, two points ahead of Taranaki. Flanker Johnny Galloway may never score an easier try than the opener in Christchurch while teammate Andre Taylor kicked a penalty goal from his own half to give Manawatu great reward for scrum power. Taylor backed that up with a superb turnover run of 80m while second five-eighths Ngani Laumape had great reward for following up when a cruel bounce gave him a try. The win was the perfect way to celebrate Nick Crosswell's 100th match for the side.
Scorers: Canterbury 29 (Dallas McLeod, Luke Romano, Sebastian Siataga, Josh McKay, Brett Camerson tries; Cameron 2 con) Manawatu 32 (Johnny Galloway, Andre Taylor, Ngani Laumape, Brayden Iose tries; Otere Black 3 con, pen; Andre Taylor pen). HT: 25-5
Hawke's Bay's strong run continues, unbeaten to date with only one draw denying it a clean slate with Bay of Plenty its closest rival and still seven points adrift. It's not such good news for Taranaki who are outside the top four and facing a battle to make the playoffs. Mix Hawke's Bay halfback Folau Fokatava and left wing Mason Emerson and you have a powerful brew as Taranaki found out. Fokatava's speed on the break was outstanding while Emerson's sharpness mades him a constant danger. Second five-eighths Danny Toala also made the most of Fokatava's passing judgment to cross twice. Taranaki didn't help themselves by having two men in the sin-bin at one stage.
Scorers: Hawke's Bay 35 (Mason Emerson 2, Danny Toala 2 tries; penalty try; Lincoln McClutchie 4 con) Taranaki 17 (Jayson Potroz, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis tries; Potroz con; Stephen Perofeta con, pen). HT: 21-7
Life doesn't come much easier for wings like Waikato's Bailyn Sullivan when he was given almost half the field to run in two tries by his insides and to help his side to a 23-15 lead at halftime in Hamilton. But Tasman aren't setting the pace in the Premiership without reason. They fought back superbly scoring two fine tries, the first an example of support play by flanker Ethan Blackadder, and the second revealing an old head in the right place at the right time as prop Wyatt Crockett thundered across after taking a short pass to score what proved the matchwinner for his side. David Havili also had a chance to reveal the quality of his goal-kicking boot with one from nearly 50 metres. The match also marked Dwayne Sweeney's 100th match for Waikato.
Scorers: Waikato 26 (Bailyn Sullivan 2, Declan O'Donnell tries; Dwayne Sweeney con; Fletcher Smith 3 pen ) Tasman 35 (Hugh Roach, David Havili, Ethan Blackadder, Wyatt Crockett tries; Tim O'Malley con, pen; David Havili 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 23-15
It was going to happen one day and it was Counties Manukau who were on the receiving end of Southland's first win since 2016. As so often happens when a run of disappointing results comes to an end it happens with a bang and a five tries to two win for the Southerners left Counties Manukau facing the prospect of relegation unless they can string together some good form in the next few weeks. The tries were spread around for the home side but first five-eighths Marty McKenzie added extra value by contributing 17 points with the boot to provide something to smile about at last for Southlanders.
Scorers: Southland 42 (Rory van Vugt, Logan Crowley, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Isaac Te Tamaki, Lewis Ormond tries; Marty McKenzie 4 con, 3 pen) Counties Manukau 14 (Nikolai Foliaki, Malene Ilaua tries; Riley Hohepa con, Orbyn Leger con).
Otago pulled in some key competition points when heading to Albany to take four points from North Harbour on Saturday. While their 14-7 halftime lead may have been against the run of play with tries to flanker James Lentjes and an intercept for Sio Tomkinson, North Harbour struggled to put their plays together and the opening try, a scorcher from wing Matt Duffie took most of the first half to come. In the second half Aleki Morris ran in another key try for Otago while first five-eighths Josh Ioane demonstrated just how much his game has grown since recent exposure to international play.
Scorers: North Harbour 15 (Matt Duffie, Bryn Hall tries; Matt McGahan con, pen) Otago 21 (James Lentjes, Sio Tomkinson, Aleki Morris tries; Josh Ioane 3 con). HT: 7-14
Defending champions Auckland are looking nothing like the unit which proved so impressive last year and are sitting in fourth place in the Premiership. They should still be a playoffs chance but wouldn't need to give North Harbour or Waikato a sniff, both of them sitting three points back. Wellington could relish the sight of fullback Billy Proctor running freely, taking gaps with ease and causing all manner of trouble in scoring two tries. They also had Ben Lam charging around with the ball in hand, as Wellington made much better use of their set-piece plays while Auckland were unable to construct the necessary cohesion in the same department.
Scorers: Auckland 15 (Leni Apisai, Jonathan Ruru tries; Harry Plummer con, pen) Wellington 34 (Peter Umaga-Jensen, Billy Proctor 2, Mateaki Kafatolu tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 4 con, 2 pen). HT: 15-14
Bay of Plenty's run of form has continued and they left Northland sitting at the bottom of the Championship after Southland's win. However, in dishing out a comprehensive loss to Northland they suffered the loss of wing Fa'asiu Fuatai, ordered off for a shoulder to the head of Northland's Renata Roberts-Tenana when 20 minutes of the game remained. However, Northland were too far off the pace to be able to cash in and Bay of Plenty remained well in control.
Scorers: Northland 22 (Renata Roberts-Tenana, Sam Nock, Harrison Levien tries; Jack Debreczeni pen; Tom Smith con) Bay of Plenty 46 Hugh Blake, Matt Garland 2, Fa'asiu Fuatai, Cole Forbes, Chase Tiatia, Emoni Narawa tries; Kaleb Trask 4 con, pen). HT: 10-22
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