A narrowly-missed drop-goal from Israel Dagg saw Hawke's Bay held 34-34 in a pulsating meeting against Auckland on Friday.
A narrowly-missed drop-goal from Israel Dagg saw Hawke's Bay held 34-34 in what was a pulsating ITM Cup clash against Auckland on Friday.
Versatile back-three man Dagg watched as his 78th-minute attempt struck an upright and the hopes of Bay recording a famous victory faded.
However, that was not their only opportunity to steal five points late on as wing Mark Jackman had an unsuccessful penalty attempt at the death.
Bay did pick up four tries though thanks to soon -to-be Exeter Chief Jason Shoemark, Jackman, Trent Boswell-Wakefield and Sinoti Sinoti.
Auckland were forced to come from behind at one point as Bay added to their 17-13 interval lead with two scores coming before 50 minutes.
But with coach Mark Anscombe able to throw on Joe Rokocoko, the lead did not last long. Winston Stanley cut matters before Daniel Braid got for his second try, his first being the game's opener. Mathew Berquist was slightly off-colour from the tee while Jackson shone.
The result sees Hawke's Bay move above North Harbour into tenth position while Auckland are up to third on the standings, boosting their hopes of making the ITM Cup semi-finals.
Tries: Braid 2, W Stanley
Con: Berquist 2
Pen: Berquist 5
For Hawke's Bay:
Tries: Shoemark, Jackman, Boswell-Wakefield, Sinoti
Con: Jackman 4
Pen: Jackman 2
Auckland: 15 Chay Raui, 14 Dave Thomas, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Brent Ward, 10 Mathew Berquist, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Daniel Braid (capt), 6 Onosai'i Auva'a, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 John Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Brenton Helleur, 21 Gareth Anscombe, 22 Joe Rokocoko.
Hawke's Bay: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Mark Jackman, 13 Jason Shoemark (capt), 12 Ryan McLeod, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Kahn Fotuali'i, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Hikawera Elliot, 1 Kas Lealamanua.
Replacements: 16 Eugene Smith, 17 Jody Allen, 18 Whetu Barber, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Michael Johnson, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Gillies Kaka.
Referee: Bryce Lawrence