Taranaki returned to the victory trail with a nail-biting 32-31 ITM Cup win over Northland in Whangarei on Saturday
Taranaki returned to the victory trail with a nail-biting 32-31 ITM Cup win over Northland in Whangarei on Saturday.
The visitors, who lost their first match of the season to Auckland on Wednesday, staved off a late Northland fightback after leading 16-7 at half-time.
Taranaki left wing Frazier Climo was his side's hero, notching 18 points through a try, three penalties and two conversions.
The hosts came close to pulling off a surprise result when inside centre Derek Carter scored a try in the dying moments of the match but there was not enough time for them to secure the win.
Despite the defeat, Northland scored four tries and Taranaki only crossed the whitewash twice.
The win moves Taranaki to second spot on the table with 23 points from six matches. They are one point behind Auckland in the standings but have played one match less than the pace-setters.
Tries: Takulua, Ranger, Caprice, Carpenter
Cons: Ai'i 2, Wright 2
Tries: Climo, Baker
Cons: Climo 2
Pens: Marshall 3, Climo 3
Northland: 15 Matt Wright, 14 Faatoina Autagavaia, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mateo Malupo, 10 Orene Ai'i, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Cam Goodhue, 7 Jack Ram, 6 William Whetton, 5 Bryce Williams (c), 4 Jack Whetton, 3 Ross Wright, 2 Tone Kopelani, 1 Peni Kaufusi.
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Justin Davis, 18 Hale T-Pole, 19 Dan Pryor, 20 Samisoni Fisilau, 21 Rhys Cane, 22 Dan Caprice.
Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Jarrad Hoeata, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Timo Tutavaha, 1 Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Chris King, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Blade Thomson, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Isaia Tuifua/Seta Tamanivalu.