Hawke’s Bay underline Premiership title credentials

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The Shield holders notched another milestone when achieving Hawke's Bay's first win in Christchurch since 1968. They sit in first place on the Premiership log on 26 points, five points ahead of second-placed Waikato, who were beaten 26-33 by Taranaki.

 

In the Bunnings Championship Taranaki, the only unbeaten side in the competition moved eight points clear of Manawatu.

 

Their fullback Stephen Perofeta, with a 23-point haul against Waikato, is well out in front in the individual points scoring with 116 points after his 23 points in Christchurch. Manawatu's Brett Cameron ended the day sitting on 98 points.

 

Northland 13 Otago 24

 

A neutral venue in Rotorua due to Covid restrictions in Northland didn't affect Otago who opened the scoring in only the second minute with first five-eighths Josh Ioane featuring three times in a move that saw centre Sio Tomkinson score the first try. Four minutes later flanker James Lentjes scored after Freedom Vainakolo's pass was tapped by Northland halfback Sam Nock allowing Lentjes to pick up and cross. But Nock responded after centre Rene Ranger tidied up at a maul on halfway and then slipped the ball to Nock who ran away to score after 14 minutes. Wing Jone Macilai-Tori capped some good backline work to score just before halftime. Down to 14 men with lock Will Tucker sin-binned, Ioane created a gap with support from fullback same Gilbert who sent Tomkinson in for the try that sealed the game.

 

Northland 13 (Sam Nock, Jone Macilai-Tori tries; Dan Hawkins pen) Otago 24 (Patesio Tomkinson 2, Josh Lentjes tries; Josh Ioane 3 con, pen). HT: 10-17

 

 

Waikato 26 Taranaki 33

 

Twelve points, all from penalty goals landed by fullback Stephen Perofeta gave Taranaki the best of starts in Tauranga before wing Mosese Dawai was finally able to get through the defence to open the scoring for Waikato. Their locks, Laghlan McWhannell and James Tucker combined in a fine breakout for Tucker to bring the scores level. Another Perofeta goal completed the first half scoring, although his midfield break deserved a better fate than to be dropped by wing Kini Naholo. Waikato claimed the lead after halfback Xavier Roe took a tap penalty and provided a chance for fullback Beaudein Waaka who was too strong in the tackle. Naholo showed better skill in running hard down the line before a superb flick infield to centre Daniel Waite who scored before a Naholo intercept and try regained the lead for Taranaki. Waikato's cause wasn't helped when a yellow card for a high tackle by Cortez Ratima meant they finished the game with 14 men.

 

Waikato 26 (Mosese Dawai, James Tucker, Beaudein Waaka, D'Angelo Leuila tries; Fraser Smith 3 con) Taranaki 33 (Daniel Waite, Kini Naholo tries; Stephen Perofeta con, 7 pen). HT: 12-15

 

 

Canterbury 26 Hawke's Bay 45

 

It took 20 minutes for the scoreboard to register points but it was all go from the moment Hawke's Bay lock Geoff Cridge scored around a goal-line maul in the corner. A stunning backline move saw fullback Lolagi Visinia grounded just short of the line before it was moved to the right where centre Stacey Ili twice featured in the move before scoring. Second five-eighths Rameka Poihipi found a path through the Bay defence to open the home team's scoring. But a chargedown in Bay territory saw Brendon O'Conner pick up the ball and head downfield before first five-eighths Lincoln McClutchie chased a kick ahead by second five Danny Toala to win the touchdown. A tap penalty by halfback Eratara Enari then saw Toala cross before the half finished with McClutchie's double round creating a try for flanker Josh Kaifa. Hooker Jacob Devery went across in a lineout maul before Canterbury responded through wing Manassa Mataele. Replacement Luke Donaldson scored from a Canterbury breakout then when the Bay lost replacement Joe Apikotoa to the sin-bin, Canterbury's backs unleashed before Mitchell Gibson scored. But there was no miracle in Addington as the Bay scored after a Tiaan Falcon break and speculator kick by Jonah Lowe to a dipping pass which he shadowed to score the final try of the game.

 

Canterbury 26 (Rameka Poihipi, Manassa Mataele, Luke Donaldson, Mitchell Gibson tries; Fergus Burke con; Jack Debreczeni 2 con) Hawke's Bay 45 (Geoff Cridge, Stacey Ili, Lincoln McClutchie , Danny Toala, Josh Kaifa, Jacob Devery, Jonah Lowe tries; McClutchie 4 con; Tiaan Falcon con ). HT: 7-33

 

 

 

Manawatu 16 Wellington 36

 

When props charge onto balls in a backline like loosehead Xavier Numia managed in only the second minute in Palmerston North trouble is brewing and his 20m run provided second five-eighths Peter Umaga-Jensen with the easy finish. Flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi then went over from a lineout maul in the 10th minute. But that was all they could claim in the first half before Manawatu started the second with their own lineout maul version with hooker Ray Niuia scoring. Wellington responded with another version, this time hooker James O'Reilly benefiting. Manawatu were shaping promising when a knock-on fell to flanker Taine Plumtree and he scorched downfield into the home 22m and from the resulting maul and drive prop Alex Fidow scored. First five-eighths Ruben Love's boot kept Wellington tantalisingly in front before he closed the lid on the game when a long pass found him on the left flank. He sped down the line, chipped ahead, gathered the bouncing ball and scored before adding the conversion from wide out.

 

Manawatu 16 (Ray Niuia try; Brett Cameron con, 3 pen) Wellington 36 (Peter Umaga-Jensen, Du'Plessis Kirifi, James O'Reilly, Alex Fidow, Ruben Love tries; Love 4 con, pen). HT: 6-12