Taranaki prevail in dour affair
August 31, 2013
Taranaki recorded their first National Provincial Championship win of the season, sneaking home 15-14 in a dour cross-over match against Southland in Invercargill on Saturday. The two-try win isn't enough to lift Taranaki off the bottom of the premiership table, and Southland continue to languish at the tail end of the championship competition.
Neither team particularly impressed in the opening 40 minutes, although Taranaki looked more likely to score as they attacked the breakdown in numbers and looked snappy in recycling possession. However it took 35 minutes for the try to come, winger Jackson Ormond crashing over in the corner after Taranaki showed good support play and quick hands in moving the ball wide.
Ahead 8-6 at half-time, Taranaki opened the second spell strongly with a try after four minutes. Southland fullback Robbie Robinson spilled the ball as he broke the Taranaki line, and Taranaki inside-centre Isaiah Tuifua snaffled the loose ball to cross unopposed.
Southland, which hadn't managed a try in their opening two games, replied almost straight away as Chris Smylie and Seta Tamanivalu got in each other's way at the restart and wing Tim Cornforth collected a kind bounce to gallop across and touch down.
A Marty McKenzie penalty narrowed Taranaki's lead to 15-14 with 20 minutes remaining, but the error rate from both sides meant neither really offered a serious threat to the status quo.
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