Late dropped-goal sees Magpies pip Taranaki

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 22:03 22/08/2014
STIFF ARM: Taranaki back Charlie Ngatai puts a big fend on during his team's narrow NPC loss to Hawke's Bay tonight.
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STIFF ARM: Taranaki back Charlie Ngatai puts a big fend on during his team's narrow NPC loss to Hawke's Bay tonight.

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A last second dropped goal has given Hawke's Bay a dramatic 29-26 win over Taranaki in a National Provincial Championship cross over match in Napier tonight.

Both teams were guilty of plenty of errors in a scrappy match in perfect conditions but Hawke's Bay showed the better composure under pressure.

Hawke's Bay took a 21-16 lead into the break after scoring two tries to one, although Taranaki crossed first after Seta Tamanivalu went over in the seventh minute.

However, Taranaki's lead was short-lived after they coughed the ball up minutes later, gifting Hawke's Bay fullback Ryan Tongia a try under the posts.

While both sides tried to play positive rugby they were stymied by too many mistakes, although the home side's inside backs did look the more dangerous.

Taranaki enjoyed a 16-10 lead midway through the half through the boot of Codey Rei but it was West who would have the final say of the half, setting up a try to Richard Buckman and slotting a 50m penalty right on the 40 minute mark.

The second half turned into a scrappy affair with most of the game played in the middle of the park.

That was until Tongia grabbed his second after a nice bust by Andrew Horrell to open up a 26-19 lead.

Taranaki had opportunities to draw level but they lacked the patience on attack and basic skills for periods until Marty McKenzie scored to lock it up at 26-26.

Hawke's Bay 29 (Ryan Tongia 2, Richard Buckman tries; Ihaia West 3 pens, con, dg) Taranaki 26 (Seta Tamanivalu, Marty McKenzie tries; Codey Rei 4 pens, con, McKenzie con)

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