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
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay04:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
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
Saturday , August 16
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 15
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury15
2Tasman15
3Waikato15
4Taranaki12
5Counties Manukau12