Super sub Mataele strikes for ‘Naki
New Plymouth Taranaki stayed in touch with the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership pacesetters but had to work hard to see off Bay of Plenty 29-7 in New Plymouth on Friday night. This was their fourth win from five games as they move a point behind North Harbour and a further four behind the excellent Canterbury.
It was 8-0 at the break after a long scoreless spell but finally the ‘Naki had points through a Marty McKenzie penalty goal on 28 minutes. Their try arrived three minutes before the break after a nice offload from replacement Johnny Fa’auli set up Declan O’Donnell on the right. Bay of Plenty would have been rightly disappointed not to be on the board as they enjoyed plenty of possession and territory in that first half.
After the break though it was Taranaki adding to their lead when Mitchell Graham crossed, and with Bay of Plenty looking to gamble late on, they had their pocket picked by replacement Fijian winger Manasa Mataele, who intercepted a pass and raced under the posts to add their third try. Mataele played alongside his uncle Seta Tamanivalu
Taranaki though saved their best until last with a lovely team score from their own half seeing Sione Lea finish off for the bonus point before Elijah Nicholas’s late try for Bay of Plenty gave the visitors something to show for their efforts.-Planet