Tani­wha tor­ment well-beaten Mag­pies

The Hastings Mail - - YOUR HEALTH - AN­DREW VOERMAN North­land 34 Hawke’s Bay 7 HT:

A win over Hawke’s Bay has given peren­nial strug­glers North­land a solid chance of mak­ing the Mitre 10 Cup Cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nals.

They beat the Mag­pies 34-7 in their round eight clash at Toll Sta­dium in Whangarei on Satur­day, get­ting the re­wards for dar­ing to take a risk with some of their at­tack­ing play.

It didn’t al­ways come off, but it did of­ten enough for them to score four tries to one, and pick up their fifth win of the sea­son, and a bonus point to boot.

As things stand, they sit sec­ond on the lad­der, with 25 points from nine games, be­hind Welling­ton (37 from eight), and ahead of Bay of Plenty (23 from nine), Manawatu¯ (22 from eight), and Otago (21 from nine).

Their first try against the Mag­pies came just three min­utes in, when they won a li­ne­out, fol­low­ing a strong run by Solomon Alaimalo down the left wing. From the throw, 5m out, they shov­elled the ball to the right, where flanker Dan Pryor found him­self with a mas­sive gap to run into and score.

First-five Peter Breen slot­ted the con­ver­sion, to give his side an early 7-0 lead, but they found them­selves in trou­ble on the quar­ter-hour mark, when half­back Sam Nock was sent to the sin bin for an in­ten­tional foul at a ruck.

Two min­utes later, the Mag­pies struck back, as first-five Ihaia West played a del­i­cate grub- ber kick in be­hind, and found Cardiff Vaega run­ning through, who pounced on the ball to make it 7-all, once West added the ex­tras.

From then to half­time, how- ever, it was all North­land, even while they were a man down.

Dan Pryor scored his sec­ond, again from a li­ne­out, but this time af­ter a rolling maul, which first went left, then right, be­fore over­pow­er­ing Hawke’s Bay and get­ting to the line.

As the sec­ond half be­gan, North­land held a 10-point lead, 17-7, and af­ter ab­sorb­ing a bit of pres­sure, they man­aged to break through, as cen­tre Rene Ranger scored a five-pointer.

Hawke’s Bay had a chance to hit back in the 70th minute, when Vaega ran on to an­other kick, but he knocked on as he tried to dot the ball down.

North­land went hunt­ing a fourth try, and a cru­cial bonus point, as the clock wound down, and they got it with no time to spare, when Tim Bond dived over.

(Dan Pryor 2, Ranger, Bond tries; Breen 2 con, pen, Hawkins 2 con, pen)

(Vaega try; West con).

17-7

HAN­NAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Dan Pryor (right) had a big game for North­land in their win over Hawke’s Bay. ‘‘The Mag­pies struck back, as first-five Ihaia West played a del­i­cate grub­ber kick in be­hind, and found Cardiff Vaega run­ning through.’’

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