Planet Rugby

Smith seals Waikato victory

17th August 2013 10:20

Share:

tim mikkelson rene ranger waikato northland

Racing away: Tim Mikkelson

Toby Smith's try in the closing minutes handed Waikato a 31-22 victory in their opening match of the ITM Cup 2013 against Northland.

A confident debut from Northland first five-eighth Ben Seymour ensured his side was well in the contest with a perfect six-from-six, including a conversion and five penalties, to ensure his side was well in the contest for the whole 80 minutes.

Waikato, however, were able to hold on thanks to tries to Rory Grice and the inspirational Joe Webber. Trent Renata, too, played well and kicked a conversion and four penalties, but it was only for a late try to prop Toby Smith that assured fans the Waikato fans will hold the Ranfurly Shield for a week longer.

Halfback Kylem O'Donnell was superb for Waikato, as was Save Tokula, whose experience proved crucial for the Ranfurly Shield holders.

Waikato's next Ranfurly Shield defence is against a resurgent Otago in a week's time at Waikato Stadium.

The early omens weren't good for Northland, with a knock on from the kick-off a nervous sign for the estimated 2000 travelling fans from Whangarei.

But after Waikato took a 10-0 lead the visitors responded with some stifling defence and, more importantly, through Seymour's boot.

Seymour reduced the deficit to seven before Webber's try gave Waikato some much-needed breathing space.

Seymour and Renata traded penalties as Waikato took an 18-9 lead into half-time to the delight of the cowbell-toting fans at Waikato Stadium.

Any hopes of a smoother second half for the hosts was thrown out when Northland's livewire halfback Sonatane Takalua dotted over almost immediately after half-time to get themselves back in the game.

From there the two sides traded penalties as Waikato held a 24-22 lead with 10 minutes to play. Smith's try with four minutes to go looked to effectively end the contest, but it was only when Renata converted to ensure the hosts had a nine point lead that the champagne could be uncorked.

The ball went loose at the breakdown to the despair of Northland coach Derren Whitcombe as most of the 11,200 in attendance in Hamilton started to chant seconds from full-time.

Northland typically went hard at Waikato for the remaining moments of the match and were almost rewarded with a bonus point try to wing Mateo Malupo after the full-time hooter.

It wasn't to be and Waikato's reign continued with a good old fashioned reality check on Saturday night.

The scorers:

For Waikato:
Tries: Grice, Webber, Smith
Cons: Renata 2
Pens: Renata 4

For Northland:
Tries: Takulua
Con: Seymour
Pens: Seymour 5

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Tim Mikkelson, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Joe Webber, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Kylem O'Donnell, 8 Adam Burn, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Rory Grice, 5 Sam Kilgour, 4 Brian Alainu'uese, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Vance Elliott, 17 Latu Talakai, 18 Chris Middleton, 19 Jono Armstrong, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Joe Perawiti, 22 Semisi Masirewa.

Northland: 15 Mathew Wright, 14 Whiria Meltzer, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mateo Malupo, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Jake Paringatai, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Dan Pryor, 5 Bryce Williams, 4 Tom Murday, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 Ross Wright, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Justin Davies, 18 Owen Pihema, 19 William Whetton, 20 Mac Sykes, 21 Daniel Hawkins, 22 Warren Dunn.

Venue: Waikato Stadium

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina 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
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre 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
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820