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
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
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
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00