Auckland moved second in the ITM Cup on Sunday after they made light work of bottom side Otago, winning 39-11 at Eden Park.
Auckland moved second in the ITM Cup standings on Sunday after they made light work of their fixture with bottom side Otago, winning 39-11.
Victory has all but cemented Mark Anscombe's side a place in the play-offs and it was five points inspired by his son, Gareth, who scored 17.
He scored a try and then was the orchestrator for Auckland before being replaced on the hour with the job completed in wet conditions.
Anscombe's half-back partner Toby Morland opened their try account though, as the scrum-half finished off some good work from centre Isaia Toeava. He also crossed for the hosts' second score of the game.
But not before Otago launched a response when prop Halani Aulika went over on 13 minutes before Anscombe capitalised on the basement side's mistake, with his seven points being partly combated by two Glenn Dickson penalties.
And from then on, Otago's eagerness to run with the ball ended up costing them as Joe Rokocoko finished off the match as a contest in a vital win.
Tries: Morland, Toeava, Anscombe, McCartney, Rokocoko
Con: Anscombe 3, Berquist
Pen: Anscombe 2
Pen: Dickson 2
Auckland: 15 Brent Ward, 14 Dave Thomas, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Onosa'i Auva'a, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Charlie Faumuina.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Brenton Helleur, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Winston Stanley.
Otago: 15 Joe Hill, 14 Ryan Shortland, 13 Josh Tatupu, 12 Glenn Dickson, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Sean Romans, 8 Paul Grant, 7 Alando Soakai (captain), 6 Hoani Matenga, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Peter Mirrielees,1 Sam Hibbard.
Replacements: 16 Wyatt McKay, 17 Scott Manson, 18 Seko Kalou, 19 Brad Cameron, 20 Johnny Legg, 21 Paula Kinikinilau, 22 Andrew Parata.
Referee: Kane McBride