Southland march into semi-final
October 11, 2008
All Black hopeful Pehi Te Whare crashes over for his try
© Getty Images
Wing Pehi Te Whare scored two tries and first five-eighth Blair Stewart collected a try and kicked a penalty and six conversions to star in an all round team effort.
Down 0-5 after four minutes, Southland turned the game around through a couple of brilliant touches from left wing Pehi Te Whare and never looked back.
Bay of Plenty started with plenty of aggression and the speed of their attack had the Southland defence stretched thin when second five eight Nigel Hunt opened accounts with a try.
But the lead lasted just two minutes. Te Whare took a ball from a ruck and engineered a solo try from 40m out, along the way recovering a pass he attempted which was intercepted. Stewart converted and Southland were on their way.
Southland did away with the frills -- they ran hard and straight at every chance and there was always plenty of support on hand for the man with the ball.
Jimmy Cowan was an important figure in Southland moves and he was rewarded with his side's second try in the 27th minute after Te Whare through burst from midfield to pop a pass for his halfback.
Bay of Plenty were unable to get their game going and the usually reliable loose forward trio of Colin Bourke, Tanerau Latimer and Solomon King were unable to make an impression on the game.
Lock Chris King scored Southland's third try of the first half after a break by hooker Jason Rutledge to give his side a 21-8 lead at halftime.
Mike Delany kicked a penalty early in the second half to cut Southland's lead to 10 points but a faltering Bay of Plenty were buried under a deluge of points.
Stewart retrieved his chargedown to score a try and was then followed by second five Jason Kawau. Stewart added a penalty and Te Whare completed the scoring with another try with three minutes left on the clock. Result of Air NZ Cup rugby quarter-final here today:-
Southland 45 (Pehi Te Whare 2, Jimmy Cowan, Chris King, Blair Stewart, Jason Kawau, tries; Stewart pen, 6 con) Bay of Plenty 11 (Nigel Hunt try; Mike Delany 2 pen). Halftime: 21-8.
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