Planet Rugby

Auckland hold off Stags comeback

03rd August 2011 11:51

Share:

auckland itm cup

Auckland: Got there in the end

Auckland beat Southland 39-26 at Eden Park on Wednesday, thanks to replacement Pauliasi Manu's try that saved the home side blushes.

After suffering three losses in their opening four matches, Auckland resurrected their season and showed plenty of fighting spirit to weather a late Southland comeback to bank a five-tries-to-four win.

The home side raced out to a 32-12 lead before being pegged back by the fast finishing Ranfurly Shield holders.

Injuries decimated Auckland's forward pack as all three of their locks (Josh Townsend, Richard Haddon and Steven Luatua) went off injured as well as debutant flanker Sam Henwood, meaning Auckland finished the match with a prop at lock and a hooker at flanker.

The injuries coincided with Southland rolling on their big guns from the reserves bench as the visitors clawed their way back into the match, but Auckland showed plenty of determination and superb defence in the final quarter to repel their raids and strike back with a try of their own on full-time to seal the victory.

Coming off their worst ever defeat to Taranaki on Sunday, Auckland knew they needed to respond immediately to get their season back on track but it took them a while to find their groove.

Auckland centre Hadleigh Parkes scored for the home side 10 minutes in following a strong run by captain Tom McCartney, but Southland's response was swift and immediate.

Auckland were unable to get out of their own 22, losing a scrum and turning over ball from their own line-out. Following a number of phases in close to the ruck, the ball was shifted wide as Glen Horton managed to get on the outside of Francis Saili to go over for the try.

Seven minutes later Southland pivot Scott Eade picked up the ball from the base of the ruck, threw a dummy pass and sliced through a gap, outpacing the cover defence to crash over in the corner.

However, Auckland shrugged off their sluggish start and soon warmed to the task at hand - scoring 27 unanswered points to take a commanding 32-12 lead on the hour mark.

Rampaging number eight Chris Lowrey had a busy game and levelled the scores after Teddy Stanaway popped the ball up to him metres from the try line, before two Gareth Anscombe penalty kicks either side of half-time saw Auckland take an 18-12 lead.

Joe Rokocoko was always looking for work and showed the national selectors he hasn't lost any of his famous pace, pouncing on the ball as it popped out from the opposition's ruck and flying 70 metres down the sideline to score.

Anscombe then made sure of the result four minutes later, carving up the Southland defence and beating four players on the way to the line to clinch the bonus point try.

But with Auckland's forward stocks slowly diminishing and Southland bringing on the likes of Jamie Mackintosh, Scott Cowan and Robbie Robinson, the visitors soon struck back with two quickfire tries to James Wilson and Tim Boys to get within six points.

However Auckland were not about to relinquish their lead as they showed outstanding defence on the tryline, before launching an attack down the other end of the field as Pauliasi Manu burrowed over the line on full-time to seal the victory.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Tries: Anscombe, Lowrey, Rokocoko, Parkes, Manu
Cons: Anscombe 4
Pens: Anscombe 2

For Southland:
Tries: Wilson, Boys, Horton, Eade
Cons: Wilson 3

Auckland: 15 Brent Ward, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Teddy Stanaway, 11 Francis Saili, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Nathan Hughes, 5 Josh Townsend, 4 Steven Luatua, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Tom McCartney (c).
Replacements: 16 Pauliasi Manu, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Richard Haddon, 19 Ben Masoe, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Piers Francis, 22 George Moala, 23 Angus Ta'avao.

Southland: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Kade Poki, 13 James Lew, 12 James Wilson, 11 Tony Koonwaiyou, 10 Scott Eade, 9 Sonny Rangitoheriri, 8 Kaleni Taetuli, 7 Tim Boys, 6 Tom Chamberlain, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Ben Nally, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Micheal Peterson.
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Michael Fatialofa, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Scott Cowan, 21 Matt Saunders, 22 Robbie Robinson, 23 Nic Barrett.

Referee: Vinny Munro

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821