BOP runs out of steam
Sunday, September 16, 2018 Campbell Burnes Getty Images
Things were not quite in synch in the first spell, passes not going to hand in midfield or being pushed in contact, while a tricky wind did not make the kick-chase game as straightforward as it might seem.
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Hooker James Parsons drove over from the back off a lineout drive, while halfback Bryn Hall gave the home side the halftime edge after he dived over from quick ruck ball.
Bay of Plenty relied heavily on Mike Delany, who goalkicked well and ran an acute angle for the Steamers’ opening try. But he did not come out for the second half and the visitors missed the direction he would have given them with the wind.
North Harbour had most of the ball, and the likes of No 8 Hapakuki Moala-Liava’a gave them impetus but it was not always matched by accuracy or fluency.
When Delany’s replacement Jason Robertson kicked the bladder out of the ball, a rare event, it was a metaphorical moment for the Steamers going flat. They fell off tackles and could get little going on attack as Harbour, in the theory the more tired team, upped the ante.
Wing Tevita Li had one try ruled out, but was then set up for another by his fullback Shaun Stevenson. Bryn Gatland, who was accurate off the tee, scored the critical bonus point try and compiled 17 important points. In the pack, Dillon Hunt was industrious at the breakdown. His opposite Mitch Karpik was equally industrious but not as effective.
FT | @HarbourRugby come home strong to beat @BOPRugby 32-20 and bag a crucial bonus point win.#HARvBOP pic.twitter.com/0svZPAfgaP— Mitre 10 Cup (@Mitre10Cup) September 16, 2018Steamers No 12 Terence Hepetema was direct in midfield, but they were unable to build off his forays.
Today was Club Day so all the North Harbour players wore their club socks.
North Harbour’s next outing is on Saturday in Napier against Hawke’s Bay, while Bay of Plenty welcomes neighbour Waikato to Rotorua next Friday.
The Farah Palmer Cup curtainraiser saw the Harbour Hibiscus convincingly defeat the Tasman Mako 51-14. The Hibiscus ran in nine tries, including doubles to Pia Tapsell and Juliana Newman.
Duane Monkley Medal points:
3: Dillon Hunt (North Harbour)
2: Tevita Li (North Harbour)
1: Luke Campbell (Bay of Plenty)
North Harbour 32 (James Parsons, Bryn Hall, Tevita Li, Bryn Gatland tries; Gatland 3 con, 2 pen) Bay of Plenty 20 (Mike Delany, James Lay tries; Delany con, 2 pen, Jason Robertson con) HT: North Harbour 15-13
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