Bay of Plenty were able to squeeze out a 26-24 win against Hawke's Bay at McLean Park.
Bay of Plenty showed outstanding set-piece dominance over Hawke's Bay but still had to withstand a vicious come back from home team.
It was a hard fought battle in the opening half as the first try only came in the 22nd minute from Te Aihe Toma who scored for Bay of Plenty. He seemed to open the flood gates as Hawke's Bay scrum-half Brad Weber scored seven minutes after him.
They were the only try scorers in the first half as the halftime result was 10-7. Bay of Plenty centre Lakalai Foketi got out of the blocks first as he scored a five pointer for the visitors 43rd minute.
The away side looked as though they had the game in the bag but Hawke’s Bay never knew when they were beaten. Hawke’s Bay scored two converted tries at the very of death of the game to take them within four points of Bay of Plenty but it wasn't enough to claim the win.
For Hawke’s Bay:
Tries: Weber, Lowe 2
Cons: West 3
For Bay of Plenty:
Tries: Toma, Foketi, Sakalia
Cons: Hollinshead 3
Hawke's Bay: 15 Shannan Chase, 14 Matt Garland, 13 Jonah Lowe, 12 Tiaan Falcon, 11 Mason Emerson, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Fa'alemiga Selesele, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Geoff Cridge, 4 Mark Abbott (c), 3 Mason Kean, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Tolu Fahamokioa
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Jason Long, 18 Jarvy Aoake, 19 Josh Eden-Whaitiri, 20 Hugh Renton, 21 Chris Eaton, 22 Billy Ropiha, 23 Dan McIntyre
Bay of Plenty: 15 Isaac Te Aute, 14 Monty Ioane, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Teddy Stanaway, 11 Regan Ware, 10 Dan Hollinshead, 9 Te Aihe Toma, 8 Joe Tupe, 7 Henry Stowers, 6 Shahn Eru, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Keepa Mewett, 3 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 2 Joseph Royal, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 James O'Reilly/Sabastian Siataga, 17 Solomona Sakalia, 18 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 19 Jeff Thwaites, 20 Matty Axtens, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Chase Tiatia