Planet Rugby

Waikato through to ITM Cup final

27th August 2011 08:05

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Finals bound: Waikato celebrate

Waikato beat Auckland 26-19 in Hamilton on Saturday to secure a place in the ITM Cup Premiership final for the second year in a row.

Needing a victory to keep their hopes of making the final alive, Auckland were outclassed by the Mooloos as discarded All Blacks Stephen Donald and Liam Messam ran riot against their traditional rivals.

After being edged out of the 30-man All Blacks World Cup squad at the eleventh hour, Messam was a man on a mission and played a hand in three of Waikato's tries, while Bath-bound Donald ensured he would play another match for his beloved side, scoring two tries and cliching the bonus point on fulltime.

The defeat, Auckland's fifth of the season, saw them finish a disappointing fifth on the Premiership ladder with just a 50 per cent winning record this season.

Auckland rarely looked like breaching the Waikato defence early on and had to rely on the boot of sharp shooter Gareth Anscombe, who landed three penalties from five attempts in the first half to keep the visitors within striking range on the scoreboard.

In contrast Waikato always threatened on attack and scored their first try after 11 minutes when Liam Messam made a bust before offloading to Save Tokula who sent Trent Renata over under the sticks.

Messam was in the thick of the action 11 minutes later, making a clean break and charging 30 metres to set up Jackson Willison for the try.

Trailing 14-9 at the break, Auckland made the most of a one man advantage when Stephen Donald was sin-binned in the 43rd minute, piling on ten points to take the lead.

Exciting Grammar Carlton youngster George Moala scored a fine individual try, bumping off lock Toby Lynn on his way to the try line, with Anscombe adding the extras and slotting his fourth penalty kick to see the visitors edge ahead 19-14.

Moala then did extremely well to rip the ball from Alex Bradley's grasp over the try line to save a certain five pointer, before wing Tim Mikkleson dropped the ball with the try line begging to deny the home side a try.

But Auckland couldn't stop Donald, who scored a well worked try on the hour mark before clinching the all important fourth try for the bonus point after the siren had sounded to book his side a home final against Canterbury.

The scorers:

For Waikato:
Tries: Donald 2, Willison, Renata
Cons: Renata 2, Donald

For Auckland:
Try: Moala
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 4

Waikato: Trent Renata, Henry Speight, Save Tokula, Jackson Willison, Tim Mikkelson, Stephen Donald, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Alex Bradley, Marty Holah, Liam Messam, Romana Graham, Toby Lynn, Nathan White (c), Marcel Cummings-Toone, Toby Smith.
Replacements: Vance Elliott, Ben May, Matt Vant Leven, Zak Hohneck, Brendon Leonard, Sam Christie, Declan O'Donnell, Ted Tauroa.

Auckland: Dave Thomas, Joe Rokocoko, Hadleigh Parkes, Winston Stanley, George Moala, Gareth Anscombe, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Sean Polwart, Nathan Hughes, Steven Luatua, Josh Katene, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney (c), Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: Nathan Vella, Angus Ta'avao, Richard Haddon, Ben Masoe, Toby Morland, Piers Francis, Brent Ward, Tevita Mailau.

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
Saturday , September 6
Auckland vs Wellington14:35
Taranaki vs Southland06:35
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs North Harbour16:35
Wednesday, September 10
Otago vs Northland09:35
Thursday , September 11
Tasman vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury315
2Taranaki413
3Tasman312
4Waikato49
5Counties Manukau38