Auckland and Tasman end all square

31st Aug 2014, 08:54

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Honours even: Tasman and Auckland

Honours even: Tasman and Auckland

Auckland and Tasman couldn't be separated on Sunday in the ITM Cup, with their contest finishing in a 16-16 draw.

Auckland and Tasman couldn't be separated on Sunday in the ITM Cup, with their contest finishing in a 16-16 draw.

Simon Hickey and Marty Banks both had difficult opportunities to win the contest in the closing stages, but neither was able to land their respective shots at goal.

Each kicker had been perfect on the night until the closing stages, landing three penalties and a conversion apiece.

Neither of the final attempts at goal were straightforward, Banks and Hickey kicking from well inside their own halves.

The weather conditions were not kind to either side on a grizzly Sunday at Eden Park as both packs battled for control.

Tasman's try came after a touch of comedy from All Blacks flanker Steven Luatua, attempting to kick the ball clear from within his own try area but being tackled at the same time to allow Tasman hooker Quentin MacDonald a simple score.

Luatua then was on hand to make up for his earlier error when he finished off a try-scoring move for the hosts to put them back into the contest.

It then fell to the boots of Hickey and Banks to try and edge out the opposition as Tasman's 10-3 half-time lead gradually slipped away.

Former All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan was in action for the visitors following his return from Gloucester in the UK.

The result leaves Auckland still down the bottom of the table in sixth spot.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Try: Luatua
Con: Hickey
Pens: Hickey 3

For Tasman:
Try: MacDonald
Con: Banks
Pens: Banks 3

Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14, Ben Lam, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Vince Aso, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 William Lloyd, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney (c), 1 Sam Prattley.
16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Joe Edwards, 19 Nepia Fox Matamua, 20 Leon Fukofuka, 21 Lolagi Visinia, 22 Simon Hickey.

Tasman: 15 James Lowe, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 Robbie Malneek, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Joseph Wheeler, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Quentin Macdonald, 1 Siua Halanukonuka
Replacements: 16 Jesse MacDonald, 17 Reuben Northover, 18 Jeff Lepa, 19 Tevita Koloamatangi, 20 Billy Guyton, 21 Rohan Saifoloi, 22 David Kaetau Havili

Referee: Damian Mitchelmore