New Zealand Cup
Hawke's Bay blitz BoP
October 3, 2008
Jason Kupa notched one of seven tries racked up by the hosts
© Getty Images
Hawke's Bay secured a valuable home quarter-final in rugby's Air NZ Cup with a runaway 46-12 win over Bay of Plenty at Napier's McLean Park tonight.
Hawke's Bay took time to dominate a scrappy match, but a consistently combative approach at the breakdown paid dividends as they ran in seven tries with a commanding second half display after leading 17-12 at halftime.
The win left them with 34 points and secured third place on the table after 10 games of round robin play. A Sam Giddens penalty two minutes into the game gave Hawke's Bay an early lead, which was consolidated when good support play from loosehead prop Faka'anaua Taumalolo saw him on hand to power over seven minutes later.
Bay of Plenty clawed their way back into the game with three Mike Delany penalties to trail 9-10 with 15 minutes until halftime, but Hawke's Bay eased the pressure five minutes later with a try to powerful tighthead prop Anthony Perenise just after Taumalolo almost claimed his second try of the match.
Referee Steve Walsh ruled Taumalolo had been held up over the line by some desperate Bay of Plenty defence, and went back to an earlier penalty. Hawke's Bay opted to kick for the line, and Taumololo set up the resulting ruck barely a metre out, with Perenise on hand to drive over for the try.
With Giddens' coversion, Hawke's Bay were looking at a more comfortable halftime lead until Delany notched up his fourth penalty for Bay of Plenty, and the home team went into the break an unconvincing 17-12 ahead.
Bay of Plenty missed the direction and running play of second five-eighth Nigel Hunt, who left the field with an ankle injury after 30 minutes, and looked to run out of ideas soon after Hawke's Bay wing Jason Kupa crossed to make it 24-12 with the conversion 15 minutes into the second spell.
And when Hawke's Bay took a tighthead scrum right on the Bay of Plenty line, Karl Lowe strolling over for their bonus point try, all the fight seemed to disappear from the blue-and-golds.
From then on, Hawke's Bay ran at will, with three tries in the closing 15 minutes to replacement openside flanker Pama Petia, centre Jason Shoemark and lock Bryn Evans.
Result of an Air NZ Cup match at McLean Park in Napier:-
Hawke's Bay 46 (Faka'anaua Taumololo, Anthony Perenise, Jason Kupa, Karl Lowe, Pama Petia, Jason Shoemark, Bryn Evans tries; Sam Giddens pen, 3 con; Israel Dagg con) Bay of Plenty 12 (Mike Delany 4 pen)