Hawke's Bay 55 - 10 North Harbour, ITM Cup
Hawke's Bay thump North Harbour
September 29, 2013
Date/Time: Sep 29, 2013, 14:35 local, 01:35 GMT
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Hawke's Bay 55 - 10 North Harbour
Half-time: 21 - 10
Tries: Allardice, Edmonds, Guildford, Horrell, Veainu 3
Cons: Horrell, West 3
Pens: West 4
Tries: Hall
Cons: Elrick
Pens: Elrick

Hawke's Bay boosted their chances of a first-place finish to the season after demolishing North Harbour 55-10 in Napier on Sunday. Doubts were raised after last week's hiccup against Tasman, but they are now just two points behind the championship leaders after leapfrogging Otago and Southland to second place.

With just two rounds remaining, North Harbour, placed sixth, will be desperate to avoid wooden spoon honours for the second consecutive year. They enjoyed an early lead thanks to Bryn Hall, but it was all downhill from there.

A brilliant hat-trick to Telusa Veainu was the highlight of dominant display in which Hawke's Bay converted a 21-10 half-time lead into a thorough towelling. Andrew Horrell, Mark Abbott, Zac Guildford and Brendon Edmonds joined the try-scoring action while Ihaia West added 18 points with the boot.

An inability to capitalise on opportunities continues to plague Liam Barry's battlers, with North Harbour regularly coughing up possession inside the attacking 22. If there was anything positive to take from the loss, it was that Francis Saili continued to prove himself as Ma'a Nonu's successor. He showed his class when making a clean incision into the Magpies defence to send Hall crawling over the line next to the posts. But just moments later Veainu was able to emulate that effort with a brilliant show of power and speed before passing to Horrell for the Magpies' reply

Harbour continued to threaten with their expansive attack - spearheaded by Saili - but were undone by poor ball security. One of those turnovers was punished by Abbot, who showed deceptive in streaking away on a 50-metre run. The lanky lock was eventually reeled in by the scrambling defence but was rewarded for his efforts moments later when he crossed for the Magpies' second in the left corner.

After the break Zac Guildford added his name to the scoresheet when he retrieved a kick by Alby Mathewson before the defence could react. Veainu crossed for his first of the afternoon when he landed on a pin-point kick. His second required a little more effort as he received a cut pass from West before sprinting 30 metres to score.

The half century was achieved when tighthead prop Edmonds muscled his way over for a try that needed multiple replays and confirmation from the Television Match Official (TMO) before being awarded. By then the visitors were out on their feet and Veainu landed the knockout blow to complete an impressive treble as the siren sounded.

© Sportal

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