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Taranaki retain Log o' Wood

01st September 2012 10:16

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Kurt Baker Taranaki v Tasman ITM Cup 2012

Kurt Baker: Scored two tries

Taranaki successfully defended the Ranfurly Shield with a 49-40 victory over Tasman in New Plymouth on Saturday.

The win moves Colin Cooper's side to joint top spot of the ITM Cup standings with Canterbury although Taranaki have played one matche less than the Christchurch outfit.

New All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett was Taranaki's hero contributing 29 points via a try, three conversions and six penalties in this win.

Both sides played expansively and the home side were rewarded with their first try as early as the first minute when Blade Thomson rounded off a free flowing which saw fine inter-play between forwards and backs.

The first half saw plenty of end-to-end action with Taranaki notching up their bonus point, for scoring four tries, by the 25th minute.

Two of those were scored by Kurt Baker, who made a successful switch from centre to full-back, and Waisake Naholo added the fourth.

Baker's first try was the best of the match. The New Zealand Sevens star received a pass from Barrett on his own 10 metre line and beat three defenders before dotting down.

Earlier, Tasman's left wing James Lowe also rounded off an impressive effort after running on to a pass from Tevita Cavubati close to the halfway line.

Tasman who upset Canterbury in their opener last week showed that that result was not a fluke and at half-time Taranaki held a slender 32-30 lead.

Although the second half produced less points there was no let-up in the action with both sides going all out for a win.

In the end Tasman conceded too many penalties and Barrett punished them if it was within goal-kicking range.

The pivot sealed Taranaki's win when he burrowed his way over the try-line from close quarters in the 78th minute.

The scorers:

For Taranaki:
Tries: Baker 2, Thomson, Naholo, Barrett
Cons: Barrett 3
Pens: Barrett 6

For Tasman:
Tries: Perry, MacDonald, Johnstone, Lowe, Malneek
Cons: Goodman 3
Pens: Goodman 3

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Chris Walker, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Jason Eaton (c), 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Laurence Corlett, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Carl Carmichael, 18 Kane Barrett, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 James Marshall, 22 Jackson Ormond.

Tasman: 15 Robbie Malneek, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Bryce Heem, 12 Andrew Goodman (c), 11 James Lowe, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Jeremy Su'a, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Joe Wheeler, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Francis Smith, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Vernon Fredricks, 19 Tevita Kolomatangi, 20 Steve Alfeld, 21 Kieron Fonotia, 22 George Millar.

Referee: Vinny Munro

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Southland vs Counties Manukau14:35
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PosTeamPPts
1Taranaki832
2Tasman832
3Canterbury830
4Auckland825
5Waikato916