Tasman Under-19s rebound from first day loss to beat Wellington in windy Taupo
Tasman will play off for fifth place following a wind-swept 38-26 win over Wellington on day two of the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under-19 rugby tournament in Taupo on Wednesday.
Tasman had been knocked out of title contention by defending champions Waikato on Sunday but outscored Wellington by six tries to four in strong winds at Owen Delany Park.
"It was a good bounce back from the other day, that's for sure," Tasman head coach Mike Fraser said.
"We started the game strong, we had the wind behind us and the boys just played really well. Our set piece was good, our phase play was good ... we just kept attacking and the points came."
Tasman made good use of the wind during the first half with first five-eighth Willy Havili and flanker Tim Sail each scoring twice to take a handy 28-0 lead into the break.
While Wellington produced their anticipated fight back by scoring four tries with the wind at their backs in the second half, further tries to Tasman winger Culainn Stringer and to prop Eden Beech helped keep Tasman in front.
"What was really pleasing for us was that we played the game how we wanted to play it. The boys played really well and when the reserves came on, they made plenty of impact today."
Havili played a starring role with a controlled display, while centre Rupena Parkinson also impressed among the backs. Hooker Sam Moli and lock Sosefo Vaka provided the physicality up front with their strong carries against a bigger Wellington pack.
Sail's two tries were also good reward for a strong individual effort.
"It's really nice that the boys have bounced back and got a really good win today so it was a great outcome for us, we're pretty happy with that."
Tasman will now play Bay of Plenty at 4pm on Saturday in the playoff for fifth and sixth.
AT A GLANCE
Tasman U19 38 (Willy Havili 2, Tim Sail 2, Culainn Stringer, Eden Beech tries, Havili 4 con) Wellington U19 26 (Adam Clarke, Angus Morton, Denny To'o, Pasi Utiilakepa tries, Esi Komaisavai con, Carlos Price con) HT: 28-0.