Auckland secure play-off berth

Date published: October 11 2014

Auckland secured their spot in the play-offs after claiming a 38-10 victory over Northland at Eden Park on Saturday.

Auckland secured their spot in the play-offs after claiming a 38-10 victory over Northland at Eden Park on Saturday.

The hosts had to wait until the 72nd minute to score their fourth try which secured them a crucial bonus point that prevents Counties Manukau from overtaking them in the standings.

The try was scored by Nepia Fox-Matamua, who was a late replacement in for Sean Polwart. Fox-Matamua dotted down after TJ Faiane and Liaki Moli combined brilliantly in the build-up.

Earlier, Northland got off to a bright start when WillGriff John scored their opening try in the 10th minute – after Gareth Anscombe opened the scoring with a penalty two minutes prior to that.

Anscombe would add two more three-pointer, from the kicking tee, before he was sent to the sin bin by referee Brendon Pickerill for a deliberate knock down.

Daniel Hawkins added the ensuing penalty to give the visitors a 10-9 lead before Lolagi Visinia restored Auckland’s lead with a 48 metre penalty.

Anscombe made up for his earlier insdiscretion by crossing over for his side’s opening try shortly before half-time which meant Auckland led 19-10 at the break.

The home side cut loose in the second half and Visinia and captain Tom McCartney also crossed the whitewash before Fox-Matamua’s all important try cleared their way to the semi-finals.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Tries: Anscombe, Visinia, McCartney, Fox-Matamua
Cons: Anscombe 3
Pens: Anscombe 3, Visinia

For Northland:
Try: John
Con: Hawkins
Pen: Hawkins

Auckland: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Leon Fukofuka, 8 Blake Gibson, 7 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Jack Whetton, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su’a, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 William Lloyd, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Francis Saili, 22 Simon Hickey.

Northland: 15 Mathew Wright, 14 Latiume Fosita, 13 Brook Gilmore, 12 Troy Gilbert, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Daniel Hawkins, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Dan Pryor (c), 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jack Ram, 5 Tom Murday, 4 Shane Neville, 3 Will John, 2 Ross Wright, 1 Namatahi Waa.Replacements: 16 Matthew Moulds, 17 Howard Sililoto, 18 Michael Stolberg, 19 Jaycob Matiu, 20 Kurt Davies, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Whiria Meltzer.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill