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
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00