Farah Palmer Cup: Round Four Review

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Canterbury was forced to rally from 21-10 down at halftime to topple Counties on the road.


The Counties Manukau forwards made an excellent start winning the collisions and forcing the visitors into uncharacteristic errors. Loose forwards Stacey Brown and Joanna Fanene-Lolo were damaging for the Heat. Tubic was flawless from the tee in her 50th match for the Heat.


Black Ferns wing Ruby Tui was full of expression and she earned her side a penalty try when she broke down the short side and chipped ahead only for Canterbury defender Stacey Niao to deliberately batter the ball dead.


The cross kick was an effective weapon for both teams. Tui collected a Hazel Tubic jab just before halftime and Canterbury openside Lucy Jenkins profiting from the vision of Terauoriwa Gapper.


A try to Grace Steinmetz put Canterbury in front but Counties bounced back with a strike to the lively Langi Veainu.


Martha Mataele has had an excellent season on the wing for Canterbury. Her try in the 61st minute signalled a shift all in Canterbury' favour. Rosie Kelly scored the winner when she latched onto a dribbling pass on the right wing.


Canterbury 36 (Amy du Plessis, Lucy Jenkins, Grace Steinmetz, Martha Mataele, Rosie Kelly tries; Kendra Cocksedge 3 cons, pen, Kelly con) Counties Manukau 31 (penalty try, Hazel Tubic, Ruby Tui, Langi Veainu tries; Tubic 3 cons, pen)



Though Manawatū scored early and tackled with heart, winning some breakdown turnovers, Auckland was able to dictate terms because of a vastly superior set-piece. 


Auckland scored three tries in each half. Rhiarna Ferris battled gamely for Manawatū and openside Elinor Plum-King is a promising prospect in her first year out of MANUKURA.


Auckland props Chryss Viliko and Sophie Murray were impressive, as well as locks Maia Roos and Eloise Blackwell. 


Auckland 32 (Ruahei Demant 2, Jade Bowen, Mele Hufanga, Katelyn Vaha'akolo, Sam Curtis tries; Demant conversion) Manawatū 5 (Janna Vaughan try)



A settled Waikato side outlasted Bay of Plenty who made a handful of changes, including a shift by Black Ferns hooker Natalie Delamere to the back row.


Bay of Plenty struck first but Waikato's response was a beauty. Cheyelle Robins-Reti blasted through the defence to set Renee Holmes free on her outside in a move that started near halfway.


Tanya Kalounivale is in great form this season, and alongside new Black Ferns selection Awhina Tangen-Wainohu, are possibly the most destructive props in the competition at the moment.


The battle between Black Ferns openside flankers Kennedy Simon and Kendra Reynolds was gripping.


Waikato 17 (Renee Holmes, Tanya Kalounivale, Kennedy Simon tries; Holmes conversion) Bay of Plenty 10 (Olive Watherston, Myracle Monga tries)



A dramatic reversal saw Hawke's Bay flip a 17-7 halftime deficit into a resounding bonus point victory.


In the first half, the visiting Tui were anchored inside their own territory due to a lack of discipline and strong scrums and lineouts from Northland. 


After the break, Hawke’s Bay controlled territory with Emma Jensen and Krysten Cottrell to the fore. Amelia Pasikala had a strong game and cracked the defence initially in the second spell. 


Hawke's Bay were level in the 56th minute with a Cottrell penalty and then they took the lead when Jessica Bennett crashed over to make it 22-17. Tui No 8 Kathleen Brown had a storming match.


Hawke's Bay 32 (Amelia Pasikala, Tampa Edwards, Hayley McKay, Jessica Bennett tries; Krysten Cottrell 3 con, 2 pen) Northland 17 (Lara Cooper, Kerri Johnson, Hikitia Wikaira tries; Krystal Murray con)



Otago's arrival in New Plymouth was delayed by inclement weather and that might explain their slow start, conceding two tries in the first quarter. That being said the Taranaki backs and forwards linked superbly in fast, skilful moments illustrating their growing improvement.


Once Otago established a clear ascendancy up front though, the hosts were held scoreless for the last 37 minutes.


Loose forward Julia Gorinski led the charge in her 50th, tighthead prop Paige Church was bustling and Maia Joseph looks' increasingly assured at ten. Keely Hill combined well in midfield with the in-form Oceana Campbell.


Brooke Nelison, Elle Johns and Badinlee Munro-Smith performed admirably for Taranaki.


Otago 55 (Brigid Corson 2, Mia Cochrane, Kiana Wereta, Kristi Kerr, Paige Church, Gemma Miller, Tegan Hollows tries; Maia Joseph 5 con) Taranaki 15 (Brooke Neilson, Danika Northcott-Weherua, Jorja Simpson tries)



Tasman impressed with their ability to keep the ball alive, stretch the visitors, and earn a record win over North Harbour. 


Tasman made a thrilling start with two tries in the opening ten minutes. Sui Pauaraisa was a powerful presence all game and set the tone after two minutes. Hooker Precious Auimatagi had a hand in both opening blows and thrived. 


Pauaraisa secured a second before halftime with a bold dummy and Tasman was ahead 25-5. Ona Palu scored on her Tasman debut, knocking over the last defender with disdain.


Tasman first-five Cassie Siataga is having a fine season and Tahila Brody adds real steel in the back row. 


Tasman 42 (Sui Pauaraisa 2, Michelle Miller-Leaf, Louisa Tubailagi, Tahlia Brody, Brooklyn Logan, Ona Palu tries; Cassie Siataga 2 con, pen) North Harbour 15 (Talei Kidd, Ava Lee-Jericevich tries; Hayley Hutana con, pen)