Otago thrash record book against Hawke's Bay
Sunday, September 10, 2017 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
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Hamstrung by injuries, Hawke's Bay had a lack of depth exposed by an Otago side which scored its four-try bonus point within 26 minutes of the start.
Otago hit the road running to take advantage of weak Hawke's Bay defence, poor lineout control and inaccuracy to a 31-0 lead after 26 minutes. The first two tries, to lock Joshua Furno ,after seven minutes, and flanker Dillon Hunt three minutes later came from lineout steals.
A third was claimed from a mid-field turnover which saw wing Jona Nareki run into the line outside the first receiver to take a huge gap and then feed second five-eighths Sio Tomkinson in after 18 minutes.
Taking their feet off the Hawke's Bay throat allowed a breath of life and wing Jonah Lowe revived the home effort when running back an Otago clearing kick. Flanker Lucas Goodin picked the ball from the ruck and ploughed ahead. Hawke's Bay sensed their chance and moved the ball wide where Lowe had the satisfaction of completing the move with a try.
Having gone to the break at 7-31 down, a mistake at the re-start when failing to control the ball, allowed Otago to set the scene once again and when scrum pressure was applied out from the Hawke's Bay line, Otago employed a lineout to mount a driving maul. While it took some time to get moving, when it did Furno was in for his second.
There was another try for Hawke's Bay after some rumbles to the line by the forwards and it was No.8 Marino Mikaele Tu'u who scored and some consolation when replacement halfback Ellery Wilson scored a third.
But in attempting to gain a four-try bonus point and throwing caution to the wind in their own 22m area as the clock wound down, Hawke's Bay turned the ball over and as it squired out the side of the breakdown Smith received the ball and was able to run 25m unchallenged along the sideline to then land the conversion to claim his, and Otago's, record.
Scorers: Hawke's Bay 21 (Jonah Lowe, Marino Mikaele Tu'u, Ellery Wilson tries; Dan Snee 3 con) Otago 64 (Joshua Furno 2, Dillon Hunt, Patelesio Tomkinson, Fletcher Smith 3, Sekonaia Pole, Aki Seiuli tries; Smith 8 con, pen). HT: 7-31
FT | Fullback Fletcher Smith picks up 34 points, as Otago claim a crucial 64 - 21 bonus point win over Hawke's Bay.#BAYvOTA pic.twitter.com/GZxVhCKROe— Mitre10 Cup (@Mitre10Cup) September 10, 2017
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