Planet Rugby

Waikato through to ITM Cup final

27th August 2011 08:05

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Finals bound: Waikato celebrate

Waikato beat Auckland 26-19 in Hamilton on Saturday to secure a place in the ITM Cup Premiership final for the second year in a row.

Needing a victory to keep their hopes of making the final alive, Auckland were outclassed by the Mooloos as discarded All Blacks Stephen Donald and Liam Messam ran riot against their traditional rivals.

After being edged out of the 30-man All Blacks World Cup squad at the eleventh hour, Messam was a man on a mission and played a hand in three of Waikato's tries, while Bath-bound Donald ensured he would play another match for his beloved side, scoring two tries and cliching the bonus point on fulltime.

The defeat, Auckland's fifth of the season, saw them finish a disappointing fifth on the Premiership ladder with just a 50 per cent winning record this season.

Auckland rarely looked like breaching the Waikato defence early on and had to rely on the boot of sharp shooter Gareth Anscombe, who landed three penalties from five attempts in the first half to keep the visitors within striking range on the scoreboard.

In contrast Waikato always threatened on attack and scored their first try after 11 minutes when Liam Messam made a bust before offloading to Save Tokula who sent Trent Renata over under the sticks.

Messam was in the thick of the action 11 minutes later, making a clean break and charging 30 metres to set up Jackson Willison for the try.

Trailing 14-9 at the break, Auckland made the most of a one man advantage when Stephen Donald was sin-binned in the 43rd minute, piling on ten points to take the lead.

Exciting Grammar Carlton youngster George Moala scored a fine individual try, bumping off lock Toby Lynn on his way to the try line, with Anscombe adding the extras and slotting his fourth penalty kick to see the visitors edge ahead 19-14.

Moala then did extremely well to rip the ball from Alex Bradley's grasp over the try line to save a certain five pointer, before wing Tim Mikkleson dropped the ball with the try line begging to deny the home side a try.

But Auckland couldn't stop Donald, who scored a well worked try on the hour mark before clinching the all important fourth try for the bonus point after the siren had sounded to book his side a home final against Canterbury.

The scorers:

For Waikato:
Tries: Donald 2, Willison, Renata
Cons: Renata 2, Donald

For Auckland:
Try: Moala
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 4

Waikato: Trent Renata, Henry Speight, Save Tokula, Jackson Willison, Tim Mikkelson, Stephen Donald, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Alex Bradley, Marty Holah, Liam Messam, Romana Graham, Toby Lynn, Nathan White (c), Marcel Cummings-Toone, Toby Smith.
Replacements: Vance Elliott, Ben May, Matt Vant Leven, Zak Hohneck, Brendon Leonard, Sam Christie, Declan O'Donnell, Ted Tauroa.

Auckland: Dave Thomas, Joe Rokocoko, Hadleigh Parkes, Winston Stanley, George Moala, Gareth Anscombe, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Sean Polwart, Nathan Hughes, Steven Luatua, Josh Katene, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney (c), Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: Nathan Vella, Angus Ta'avao, Richard Haddon, Ben Masoe, Toby Morland, Piers Francis, Brent Ward, Tevita Mailau.

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs CanterburyNorth Harbour vs Canterbury Preview
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
Saturday , September 27
Waikato vs Manawatu14:35
Counties Manukau vs Wellington17:35
North Harbour vs Hawkes Bay19:35
Sunday , September 28
Tasman vs Otago14:35
Canterbury vs Southland16:35
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay vs Wellington19:35
Thursday , October 2
Auckland vs Waikato19:35
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
Sunday , September 14
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury628
2Tasman727
3Taranaki727
4Auckland620
5Waikato715