Planet Rugby

Otago push self-destruct button

19th August 2010 10:45

Share:

north harbour

Comeback victory: North Harbour

North Harbour scored 26 unanswered points to bank a remarkable 35-23 ITM Cup win over Otago in Albany on Thursday.

Ahead 23-9 at half-time, Otago were kept scoreless for the remainder of the match as flanker Malakai Ravulo scored two tries after the break for Harbour - his second sealing the win in the dying minutes at North Harbour Stadium.

Fly-half Ben Botica and discarded All Blacks centre Luke McAlister - who shifted into the number ten role for the final 20 minutes - combined to kick seven penalties and two conversions, a total of 25 points coming via the boot for the hosts.

Otago managed to cross the line twice and looked like ending their three-match losing streak, however poor discipline saw them finish on the wrong side of a 15-5 penalty count from referee Bryce Lawrence.

Botica and opposite number Glenn Dickinson traded three-pointers before Otago prop Halani Aulika burrowed his way under the Harbour defence for the opening try. Dickinson added the extras to take the score out to 13-6 after 28 minutes.

Otago had two tries in two minutes after a restart error was snapped up by Ben Smith. The centre put in an intelligent grubber for speedy wing Joe Hill to collect. Dickson again slotted the extras for a 20-6 lead.

The two pivots again traded penalties, Harbour's 40 minutes of errors gifting Otago a 23-9 lead at the break. It was the southerner's game to lose - and so it transpired.

A half time rev-up from coach North Harbour coach Craig Dowd worked wonders as Botica added another penalty to narrow the gap to eight points.

It wasn't long until lock James King made a telling break and turned the ball inside to Fijian flanker Ravulo who dotted down behind the posts to close within one point of Otago.

McAlister then took over at fly-half in place of the subbed Botica and immediately slotted a penalty to nudge Harbour in front (25-23). Otago infringed yet again and McAlister knocked over a further three points.

And it was at 28-23 when the home team secured the win after Ravulo latched onto a speculator pass from Otago winger Fetu'u Vainikolo with three minutes to play and ran ten metres to score.

The win takes Harbour temporarily to the cusp of the top-seven on eight points (two wins, two losses), while Otago dropped their fourth straight match to start the season with just the solitary bonus point.

The scorers:

For North Harbour:
Tries: Ravulo 2
Cons: Botica, McAlister
Pens: Botica 5, McAlister 2

For Otago:
Tries: Aulika, Hill
Cons: Dickson 2
Pens: Dickson 3

North Harbour: 15 Jack McPhee, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Jack Tarrant, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Alipate Fatafehi, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Chris Smylie; 8 Richard Mayhew, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Matt Luamanu, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James King, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 James Parsons, 1 Michael Reid (c).
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 Taione Vea, 18 William Whetton, 19 Tom Chamberlain, 20 Nalu Tuigamala, 21 Brendon Watt, 22 Nafi Tuitavake.

Otago: 15 Chris Small, 14 Joe Hill, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Josh Tatupu, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Glenn Dickson, 9 Sean Romans, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Alando Soakai (c), 6 Paul Grant, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Hoani Matenga, 3 Sam Hibbard, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kees Meeuws.
Replacements: 16 Peter Mirrielees, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Seko Kalou, 19 Brad Cameron, 20 Johnny Legg, 21 Andrew Parata, 22 Paula Kinikinilau.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
Saturday , August 16
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 15
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury15
2Tasman15
3Waikato15
4Taranaki12
5Counties Manukau12