Planet Rugby

Bay of Plenty hold off Canterbury

23rd August 2011 11:38

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Chris Noakes in action for Bay of Plenty

In good form: Chris Noakes

Bay of Plenty kept alive their hopes of making the ITM Cup play-offs with a heart-stopping 35-31 win over league leaders Canterbury on Tuesday.

The success propels the Steamers back up to third in the Premiership table while the Cantabs reclaim top spot after briefly losing it to Waikato.

Canterbury did get two points due to the margin of their defeat and also the fact that they scored four tries in a fine fightback. At 29-3 down at half-time, the visitors scored via Luke Romano, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty and Telusa Veainu. It wasn't enough.

Bay of Plenty full-back Toby Arnold grabbed the first try while number eight Colin Bourke got over before half-time. Fly-half Chris Noakes proved the difference between the two sides though, with an impressive 25-point haul that included six penalties, two conversions and one drop-goal enough to see off their heavyweight opponents.

As mentioned, the Steamers had put themselves into a commanding position before an away comeback brought the scores back to 32-31 with two minutes remaining on the clock.

But a late penalty from 26-year-old Noakes made the game secure for a win that ended a four-game losing run for Bay of Plenty, whose play-off fate is in their own hands.

Next week's final round in the competition sees both these sides on the road, with the Steamers facing Southland in Invercargill while Canterbury go to Dunedin to face Otago.

The scorers:

For Bay of Plenty:
Tries: Arnold, Bourke
Con: Noakes 2
Pen: Noakes 6
Drop: Noakes

For Canterbury:
Tries: Romano, Heinz, Crotty, Veainu
Con: Bleyendaal 4
Pen: Bleyendaal

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

Canterbury: tbc

Referee: Chris Pollock

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ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay vs WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Preview
Thursday , October 2
Auckland vs Waikato19:35
Friday , October 3
Northland vs North Harbour19:35
Saturday , October 4
Southland vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Otago17:35
Canterbury vs Tasman19:35
Sunday , October 5
Manawatu vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Wednesday, October 8
Counties Manukau vs Auckland19:35
Thursday , October 9
Waikato vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Friday , October 10
Otago vs Manawatu19:35
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Sunday , September 28
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
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Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Friday , September 26
Taranaki 35 - 22 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 30 Northland
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour 29 - 24 CanterburyNorth Harbour vs Canterbury Report
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
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PosTeamPPts
1Taranaki832
2Tasman832
3Canterbury830
4Auckland720
5Waikato816