Otago 24-29 Hawke's Bay, ITM Cup
Magpies set up finale against Makos
October 20, 2013
Ihiaia West scored 19 points for Hawke's Bay
© Getty Images
Hawke's Bay inflicted a second dose of rugby disappointment on Otago, defeating the Razorbacks to book their place against Tasman in the ITM Cup Championship promotion play-off seven weeks after pipping their hosts 20-19 at the same venue to lift the Ranfurly Shield.
Hawke's Bay seemed set for a more comfortable victory this time around when they led 26-10 early in the final quarter, but the hosts fought back with tries from Gareth Evans and Tom Franklin before running out of time. Hawke's Bay were outscored three tries to two, but they dominated possession to limit the opposition's chances and also had the edge in the rucks and mauls.
Otago winger Matt Faddes pounced on a loose pass to dot down for a converted try after the sides had traded early penalties, but Hawke's Bay five-eighth Ihaia West added two more goals to make it a one-point game. The Magpies then hit the front when Alby Mathewson made a run from the base of the scrum to score seven minutes from half-time.
Richard Buckman scored the Magpies' second try on the hour mark, converted by West before the five-eighth landed another penalty to push Hawke's Bay into their ultimately decisive lead.
Tasman Makos, who will have home advantage after topping the Championship ladder, downed Southland 49-28 in the first semi-final on Saturday.
Melbourne Rebels-bound prop Max Lahiff was strong for the Magpies © Getty Images