Hawke's Bay fly-half Kahn Fotuali'i crossed the try-line with three minutes to go to seal a 25-13 win over Northland at McLean Park.
Hawke's Bay fly-half Kahn Fotuali'i crossed the try-line with three minutes to go to seal a 25-13 ITM Cup win against Northland at McLean Park on Thursday.
After trailing 8-10 at half-time, the three tries to one victory saw the Magpies and Northland swap places in the standings in ninth and tenth respectively.
Hawke's Bay struggled to get going in the opening ten minutes after Northland pivot Lachie Munro – who scored all his side's points – made up for an earlier penalty miss by running in an intercept try.
With the home side on attack, their patience broke as skipper Jason Shoemark threw a blind pass that resulted in Munro racing upfield unchalleneged to score the opening try of the match which he also converted.
Hawke's Bay responded with a five-pointer of their own when scrum-half Chris Eaton turned on the gas down the left-hand sideline from a stolen line-out ball to beat two tacklers and dot down. Full-back Mark Jackman made a hash of the conversion, but made amends with a successful penalty that got his side into the lead (8-7).
However, it wasn't to last long after Munro nailed another penalty to give his side a two-point buffer at half-time.
The Hawke's Bay pack took control of the game after the break, and Jackman gave his side the lead again with another penalty before winger Richard Buckman powered through three Northland tacklers to score in the corner.
Jackman's conversion saw the lead stretch out to 18-10 and although Munro closed the gap with another penalty, Fotuali'i sealed the game for the Magpies with a converted try.
For Hawke's Bay:
Tries: Eaton, Buckman, Fotuali'i
Cons: Jackman 2
Pens: Jackman 2
Tries: L Munro
Cons: L Munro
Pens: L Munro 2
Hawke's Bay: 15 Mark Jackman, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Jason Shoemark (c), 12 Ryan McLeod, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Kahn Fotuali'i, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman, 7 Karl Lowe6. Michael Johnson, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Hikawera Elliot, 1 Kas Lealamanua.
Replacements: 16 Eugene Smith, 17 Clint Newland, 18 Leighton Price, 19 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 20 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 21 Star Timu, 22 Gillies Kaka.
Northland: 15 Lachie Munro, 14 Simon Munro, 13 Jared Payne (c), 12 Aaron Bancroft, 11 Mateo Malupo,10 David Holwell, 9 Rhyan Caine, 8 Cameron Eyre, 7 Joel McKenty, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Mark Burman, 4 Pat O'Connor, 3 Bronson Murray, 2 Tim Dow, 1 Matt Wallis.
Replacements: 16 Mikaele Tuu'u, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Roy Griffin, 19 Justin Collins, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Adam Clarke, 22 Iwi Hauraki.
Referee: Garratt Williamson