Otago edge out Tasman

Date published: September 10 2016

Otago made it five wins out of five in 2016 as they pulled clear at the top of the Mitre 10 Cup Championship with a 30-27 victory over Tasman.

First-half tries from Paul Grant, Craig Millar and Naulia Dawai were recorded but it was the boot of Fletcher Smith in the second period that did the damage as they move 11 points clear of Wellington in the second tier.

Tasman led 21-27 at the break after tries from Alex Nankivell, David Havili and Shane Christie to go with Marty Banks' 12 points off the tee had bettered Otago's offerings from Grant, Millar and Dawai, with Smith slotting three conversions in an entertaining 40 minutes.

In contrast, the second stanza struggled to match the first in terms of points scored as by the 64-minute mark only two further penalties from Smith troubled the board. That meant the game was locked at 27-27 to set up a tense end to matters at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Otago were in the ascendancy though and the Makos couldn't stop the momentum as another penalty in the 73rd minute moved them in front and they held on for a win over Tasman, who missed the chance the pull clear from Hawke's Bay at the foot of the Premiership.

The scorers:

For Otago:
Tries: Grant, Millar, Dawai
Cons: Smith 3
Pens: Smith 3

For Tasman:
Tries: Nankivell, Havili, Christie
Cons: Banks 3
Pens: Banks 2

Otago: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Mitchell Scott, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Jack Wilson, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Paul Grant (c), 7 Lee Allan, 6 Naulia Dawai, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Hisa Sasagi, 2 Sam Anderson-Heather, 1 Aki Seiuli
Replacements: 16 Sekonaia Pole, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Adam Knight, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Josh Walden, 22 Scott Eade, 23 Fa'asui Fuatai

Tasman: 15 Mitchell Hunt, 14 Tima Faingaanuku, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Alex Nankivell, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Billy Guyton, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Shane Christie (c), 6 Tevita Koloamatangi, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Shannon Frizell, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Jesse MacDonald, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Blair Prinsep, 19 Jeff Lepa, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Trael Joass, 23 Caleb Makene

Referee: Mike Fraser