Su­per sub Mataele strikes for ‘Naki

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Rugby

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

Manasa Mataele.

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