Auckland put 50 past Waikato

Date published: September 5 2015

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Auckland jumped to third in the ITM Cup standings after thrashing Waikato 50-28 on the road in Hamilton on Saturday.

Waikato led 21-17 at the interval and were only 10 points behind with as many minutes remaining but Auckland then ran in two unanswered tries to seal their second win of the season.

A three-try blitz in an eight minute spell at the start of the second half saw Auckland take control of the game.

In a ding-dong battle, Auckland outscored their hosts seven tries to four and in the process leapfrogged the Mooloo men on the Premiership table.

In perfect conditions for exciting rugby, Auckland produced their best performance of these season so far as Michael Fatialofa, Kaito Shigeno, Ben Lam, Taleni Seu, Melani Nanai, George Moala and Mitchell Hunt all touched down with the latter two scores proving the difference in a see-saw affair. 

Tries from Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber and Anton Lienert-Brown gave Waikato a narrow lead at the break. Shaun Stephenson's try around the hour mark secured a bonus point and kept the contest alive, but the home side were outplayed in the second half. 

In good news for the national cause, All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina played nearly an hour for Auckland as he built up his fitness ahead of the World Cup.

Former All Black Stephen Donald was a late withdrawal after having been named on the bench due to a niggling hamstring injury.

The scorers:

For Waikato:
Tries: McKenzie, Weber, Lienert-Brown, Stephenson
Cons: McKenzie 4

For Auckland:
Tries: Fatialofa, Shigeno, Lam, Seu, Nanai, Moala, Hunt
Cons: S Hickey 5, J Hickey
Pen: J Hickey
Yellow Card: Ioane

Waikato: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Declan O'Donnell, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jordan Payne, 11 Dylan Collier, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Josh Tyrell, 7 Zane Kapeli, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Jacob Skeen, 4 James Tucker, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Epalahame Faiva, 1 Loni Uhila.
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Atunaisa Moli, 19 David Morgan, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Harrison Levien, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Johnathan Malo.

Auckland: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Charles Piutau, 12 George Moala, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Mitch Karpik, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Greg Pleasants, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Isileli Tu'ungafasi, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Jono Hickey, 22 Mitch Hunt, 23 Reiko Ioane.

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