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Stags steamrolled in Rotorua

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

The Stags came north knowing they needed a win to give themselves even a faint hope of a playoff spot, but those hopes were virtually diminished after just seven minutes when Elliot Dixon was yellow carded for pulling down a Bay of Plenty drive to the line.

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The yellow card was a double blow for the Stags with a penalty try awarded to give the home-side a 7-0 lead. Bay of Plenty made use of the one man advantage by scoring a great counter attacking try to loose forward Hugh Blake while Dixon was still off the field.

The Steamers kept a solid defensive line and forced the Stags into a kicking game as the first half wore on. Bay of Plenty looked to keep the ball in hand for long periods and tired out the Stags defence as wing Monty Ioane and halfback Richard Judd scored tries to claim the 24-0 halftime lead.

Southland weren’t completely out of the game though, and needed to score first in the second half to stay in the contest. But just four minutes into the second half, Dixon earned a second yellow card for a dangerous strike on Richard Judd. In the Mitre 10 Cup a second yellow card is immediately elevated to a red card meaning Southland had to play the rest of the match with 14 players.



From there it was game over as Bay of Plenty ran in five second half tries to cap off the 57-0 win. The Steamers have looked dangerous all year without fully clicking into gear but showed tonight that they have a complete fifteen-man game.

The bonus-point win elevates the Steamers into the Championship top four. Next up they face Counties Manukau in a crucial crossover clash in Tauranga on Sunday. Southland remain without a competition point and also face a short turnaround before they face Tasman in Nelson on Sunday.

Scorers:
Bay of Plenty 57 (Monty Ioane 2, Hugh Blake, Richard Judd, Lalakai Foketi 2, Terrence Hepetema, Jesse Parete tries, Penalty try, Mike Delany 3 con, Luke Campbell 2 con) Southland 0
HT: 24-0