Northland 21-31 Otago, ITM Cup
Otago close to semi-final berth
October 10, 2013
Jayden Spence crosses the try line for one of Otago's four tries
© Getty Images
Otago have given themselves every chance of claiming a Championship semi-finals berth with a hard-earned bonus point win over Northland at Whangarei on Wednesday. In a game that featured both teams moving the ball around from the outset, it was Otago who took control and dominated the match.
As Otago took the lead 16-0 and made to dominate the match, Northland's captain Rene Ranger was unwilling to allow Otago to run away with the game and started a fight back that saw replacement halfback Sonetane Takulua cross the line for Northland's first points, and only minutes later prop Matt Wright dove over to score.
The closing gap was short lived as Otago crashed through Northland's defences coming away with a penalty goal and a try from Jayden Spence. Northland wasn't disheartened though as prop Rob Abel pushed over from a penalty scrum.
But a mistake from Ranger only metres from Northland's try line gave Otago one last chance at the line which saw TJ Ione cross over through a lineout maul for Otago's bonus point try.