Taranaki beat Hawke's Bay
Taranaki play the best 40 minutes of the season
The loss of the Ranfurly Shield proved too much of hurdle to get over for another side tonight/last night as Hawke's Bay lost 23-10 to Taranaki in New Plymouth.
Already this season Waikato and Otago have followed up handing over the shield with a poor next up display and Hawke's Bay made it three from three. Not that they were not in with a royal chance of bucking the trend in what was miserable conditions at Yarrow Stadium for the 4835 fans who turned out.Behind just 13-3 at the break and turning with a stong wind at their backs, Hawke's Bay conspired to put in a below average effort as they struggled to show any real enthusiasm with the little ball they could get.
It was not as if Hawke's Bay coach Craig Philpott did not try and spark some enthusiasm in the ranks after the shield loss as he made 10 changes from the team which lost to Counties Manukau.
It just didn't work as Taranaki showed a lot more determination, playing the best 40 minutes of the season.
The win also lifted Taranaki off the bottom of the premeirship table and, more importantly, gave the side some much needed confidence ahead of Sunday's shield match with Counties Manukau.Despite the comfortable nature of the final score, the first half was a continual exercise in frustration for the home fans.
A late Jamison Gibson-Park try and a second Andre Taylor penalty right on 40 minutes could not paper over the cracks which have haunted Taranaki through the first half of the season.
A malfunctioning lineout, poor option taking and an attack bereft of ideas were all on display as Taranaki did little with the wind at their backs. They kicked when they should have run it, spun it when they should have kicked it, while finishing remained a constant problem.
It all played into Hawke's Bay's hands as they could soak up time by playing slowly around the ruck with more possession than they should have enjoyed. When you play with the wind you generally need to keep your discipline. It was something Taranaki forgot about as they gave away seven penalties, mostly around the breakdown.
It all proved too much for Japanese referee Aki Aso who yellow carded Taranaki prop Ryan Cocker with a couple of minutes left in the half. It did not prove costly for Taranaki, however, as they came out galvinised after the break to show the kind of determination that had been lacking in the opening four rounds.
Taranaki coach Colin Cooper would also have been delighted to see a few senior men hit form, most notbly Taylor who really led the way in the second half.
TARANAKI (Jamison Gibson-Park, Ope Peleseuma tries; Andre Taylor 3 pens, 2 cons) HAWKE'S BAY (Mark Atkins try; Regis Lespinas pen, con). HT: 13-3.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the NPDC councillors get iPads?Related story: Tech-wary councillors hedge their bets