Auckland cruise to victory

Date published: September 21 2014

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Gareth Anscombe's late try wrapped up a 32-7 bonus-point win for Auckland in Saturday's ITM Cup clash against North Harbour at Eden Park.

Gareth Anscombe's late try wrapped up a 32-7 bonus-point win for Auckland in Saturday's ITM Cup clash against North Harbour at Eden Park.

The Wales-bound fly-half finished with 15 points to his name in a comfortable victory over the men from the east coast, whose late consolation score from Pita Ahki at least meant they finished with some points on the board.

Showing more skill in a match which was affected by rain early on, Auckland took the maximum five points for their fourth win of the season.

Former New Zealand Sevens star Ben Lam scored the only try of the first half, as penalties from Anscombe guided Auckland to an 11-0 advantage at the break.

Those two combined for Lam's try, Anscombe providing the final pass at the end of a strong attacking move.

George Moala was heavily involved for Auckland's second to send Hadleigh Parkes over, Anscombe keeping the scoreboard ticking over with a fine touchline conversion.

Replacement hooker Gafatasi Su'a was the next to benefit from Moala's fine work before Anscombe rounded things off with a try to get his future fans in Cardiff excited.

The 23-year-old sidestepped his way around the Harbour defence to wrap up the contest, before Ahki's late long-range effort added some respectability.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Tries: Lam, Parks, Sua'a, Anscombe
Cons: Anscombe 2, Hickey
Pens: Anscombe 2

For North Harbour:
Try: Ahki
Con: McGahan

Auckland: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Blake Gibson, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Nick Barrett, 18 Jack Whetton, 19 Joe Edwards, 20 Leon Fukofuka, 21 Melani Nanai, 22 Simon Hickey.

North Harbour: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Luke Devcich, 13 Matt Vaega, 12 Pita Ahki/Matt McGahan, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Daniel Halangahu 9 Bryn Hall (c), 8 Jim Tuivaiti, 7 Zak Judge, 6 Jordan Manihera, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Michael Farmer/Brandon Nansen, 3 Nic Mayhew, 2 James Parsons, 1 Greg Pleasants Tate.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Sione Mafileo, 18 Brandon Nansen/Irwin Finau, 19 Josh Blucher, 20 David Bason, 21 Matt McGahan/Niko Ratumaitavuki, 22 David Raikuna.

Referee: Michael Lash

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