Planet Rugby

Bay of Plenty hold off Canterbury

23rd August 2011 11:38

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Chris Noakes in action for Bay of Plenty

In good form: Chris Noakes

Bay of Plenty kept alive their hopes of making the ITM Cup play-offs with a heart-stopping 35-31 win over league leaders Canterbury on Tuesday.

The success propels the Steamers back up to third in the Premiership table while the Cantabs reclaim top spot after briefly losing it to Waikato.

Canterbury did get two points due to the margin of their defeat and also the fact that they scored four tries in a fine fightback. At 29-3 down at half-time, the visitors scored via Luke Romano, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty and Telusa Veainu. It wasn't enough.

Bay of Plenty full-back Toby Arnold grabbed the first try while number eight Colin Bourke got over before half-time. Fly-half Chris Noakes proved the difference between the two sides though, with an impressive 25-point haul that included six penalties, two conversions and one drop-goal enough to see off their heavyweight opponents.

As mentioned, the Steamers had put themselves into a commanding position before an away comeback brought the scores back to 32-31 with two minutes remaining on the clock.

But a late penalty from 26-year-old Noakes made the game secure for a win that ended a four-game losing run for Bay of Plenty, whose play-off fate is in their own hands.

Next week's final round in the competition sees both these sides on the road, with the Steamers facing Southland in Invercargill while Canterbury go to Dunedin to face Otago.

The scorers:

For Bay of Plenty:
Tries: Arnold, Bourke
Con: Noakes 2
Pen: Noakes 6
Drop: Noakes

For Canterbury:
Tries: Romano, Heinz, Crotty, Veainu
Con: Bleyendaal 4
Pen: Bleyendaal

Bay of Plenty: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Ben Smith, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Colin Bourke (capt), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Leon Power, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Dan Perrin, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 John Pareanga, 17 Tristan Moran/Greg Plesants Tate, 18 Luke Andrews, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Josh Hall, 21 Nick McCashin, 22 Jason Hona, 23 Pingi Talaapitaga.

Canterbury: tbc

Referee: Chris Pollock

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki vs Counties Manukau12:00
Friday , August 15
Southland vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Saturday , August 16
Otago vs North Harbour14:35
Canterbury vs Auckland16:35
Wellington vs Waikato16:35
Sunday , August 17
Tasman vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Northland vs Manawatu16:35
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Wellington1042
2Canterbury1040
3Auckland1036
4Counties Manukau1028
5Waikato1021