Planet Rugby

Rocketman leaves Eden Park on a high

20th August 2011 07:39

Share:

joe Rokocoko

Winning send off: Joe Rokocoko

Auckland sent out Joe Rokocoko on a high note in his last game at Eden Park, defeating Bay of Plenty 25-16 in their ITM Cup clash on Saturday.

The hosts outscored Bay of Plenty by three tries to one to keep their faint hopes of making the final intact.

Rokocoko looked intent to involve himself at every opportunity in his final match on Eden Park before he heads overseas to join French club Bayonne, and he played a significant role in Auckland's first try after just five minutes.

He featured twice in the build-up before Hadleigh Parkes picked up the ball from the base of the ruck and barged his way over the line to score.

While Rokocoko was bidding au revoir to the Auckland and Blues faithful, promising youngster Dave Thomas announced his return to action after a long term injury with an outstanding game, injecting himself well from full-back.

With Winston Stanley partnering Hadleigh Parkes in the midfield and Gareth Anscombe back guiding the ship at pivot, Auckland looked dangerous on attack but they failed to cash in on their regular visits to the Bay of Plenty red zone, squandering numerous opportunities.

Anscombe uncharacteristically missed his first two penalty attempts before landing his third to give Auckland a 10-3 lead at the half hour mark.

Blues flanker Luke Braid was back at Eden Park but this time wearing the blue and yellow hoops of the Steamers, and the crowd that would usually have been cheering his name during the Super Rugby season were quietly cursing him when he scored with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

The visitors were awarded a penalty from a 5m attacking scrum and captain Colin Bourke tapped the ball quickly and passed to Braid who caught the Auckland defence napping to stroll over for the try.

Fly-half Chris Noakes edged Bay of Plenty ahead with a penalty kick before halftime, but Anscombe replied early in the second stanza to once again level the scores.

However the response was swift by the Bay of Plenty as Noakes once again nudged his side ahead with a long distance penalty kick.

The turning point came soon afterwards as Auckland scored two tries in the space of five minutes to secure the victory.

Replacement lock Steven Luatua did an outstanding job of bashing his way through four Bay of Plenty defenders to the tryline, before George Moala left speedster Lelia Masaga in his wake, getting on his outside and setting up Dave Thomas for the try.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Tries: Parkes, Luatua, Thomas
Cons: Anscombe 2
Pens: Anscombe 2

For Bay of Plenty:
Try: Braid
Con: Noakes
Pens: Noakes 3

Auckland: 15 Dave Thomas, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart , 6 Nathan Hughes, 5Chris Lowrey, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Steve Luatua, 19 Sam Henwood, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Brent Ward, 23 Tevita Mailau.

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

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615