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

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26