Northland farewell Ranger with one-point win
October 12, 2013
Rene Ranger lead his side to a one-point win over Bay of Plenty in his ITM Cup farewell
© Getty Images
Northland eased off the bottom of the ITM Cup championship ladder with a 20-19 win over premiership tailenders Bay of Plenty in Whangarei on Saturday.Northland captain Rene Ranger, off to play French Top 14 rugby with Montpellier, went out on a high note after opening the scoring in the ninth minute.
Bay of Plenty equalised eight minutes later, through No.8 Carl Axtens who was rewarded for controlling the ball well off the back of an impressive scrum. A Hawkins penalty and winger Mateo Malupo's try three minutes from halftime gave Northland a 15-7 lead at the break.
The home team controlled most of the second half, although they were punished for an early mistake when Steamers second five-eighth Nick Evemy touched down barely a minute after the restart. Malupo all but wrapped up the game with his second try after 52 minutes, although Te Aihe Toma's 80th minute try regained some pride and a bonus point for Bay of Plenty.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch