Planet Rugby

Auckland prevail in the wet

11th September 2010 09:47

Share:

Toby Morland auckland v wellington

Singing in the rain: Auckland

It was a classic slugfest, but Auckland did enough in torrential rain to hold out Wellington 21-15 at Eden Park on Saturday.

The hosts scored two tries to nil, secured back-to-back wins and moved into the top four with their fifth victory in this year's ITM Cup, while last year's beaten finalists slipped to consecutive defeats after a shock loss to Manawatu last week.

Wellington made much of the game's attacking play but were unable to tame the difficult conditions and breach a stoic Auckland defence, with fly-half Lima Sopoaga's five penalties not enough for victory.

The home side were able to score two first half tries, including one with the last act of the first half, which proved the difference in a tight game.

In suffering their first loss to Auckland in four games, the Lions also relinquished the Fred Lucas Cup, in honour of the 1923-30 Auckland All Black.

Sopoaga and his Auckland counterpart Matt Berquist were both unsuccessful with early penalty shots on goal.

The home side then put the first points on the scoreboard through their first try to lock Liaki Moli, who stretched out in the tackle to plant the ball over the line for a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.

The Lions opened their account with a penalty to Sopoaga, answered by a second one to Berquist and Auckland led 10-3 after the opening quarter.

A concerted passage of play by Wellington was almost rewarded with a try when lock Jeremy Thrush surged through a hole and up into Auckland's 22. Instead they were handed a penalty from the next play and Sopoaga kicked it from in front.

Auckland attacked with vigour close to Wellington's line and Berquist managed to dart through to score their second try, which he failed to convert from out wide on the stroke of halftime as Auckland went under the stand holding a 15-6 lead.

A broken field injection by left wing Alapati Leuia followed by a separate run by centre Charlie Ngatai gave the Lions early second-half momentum. Another promising raid was followed by another penalty in front of the uprights and Sopoaga obliged to close the deficit to 15-9.

The Lions remained patient against tight close quarter defence and were rewarded with another Sopoaga penalty that closed the gap up to three points, but Berquist banged one over himself straight away and Auckland now led 18-12 on the 60-minute mark.

Sopoaga kicked his fifth penalty, but Auckland once more pulled six points clear almost immediately with another Berquist penalty in reply.

Another Berquist penalty hit the uprights as the time remaining wound down to inside the final 10 minutes and Wellington rallied for field position and a converted try to win the match.

They finished the game at the right end of the park inside Auckland's half and with a midfield scrum. But once more the home side kept them out and they held on for the win.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Tries: Moli, Berquist


b>Con: Berquist
Pens: Berquist 3

For Wellington:
Pens: Sopoaga 5

Auckland: 15 Brent Ward, 14 Atieli Pakalani, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Matt Berquist, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid (c), 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Tevita Mailau.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Kurtis Haiu, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Auvasa Faleali'i, 21 Gareth Anscombe, 22 Dave Thomas.

Wellington: 15 Apoua Stewart, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Shaun Treeby, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Rodney So'oialo (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Api Naikatini, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Dane Coles, 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Nick Passi, 19 Dean Brunsdon, 20 Ruki Tipuna, 21 Fa'atonu Fili, 22 Tajhon Mailata.

Referee: Chris Pollock

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26