Hawke’s Bay hang on to beat Otago

By Te Ao - Māori News

Danny Toala scores for Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay remain unbeaten in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship division, beating Otago 29-21 last night in Napier.

The Magpies were up 29-7 going into the final quarter of the game, but had to withstand a comeback from the visitors that ultimately came up short. The home side also had to contend with a first half yellow card to first five Lincoln McClutchie for a deliberate knock down, with the kicking tee being handed to young star Danny Toala in McClutchie’s absence.

The young star proved to be more than up to the task, slotting a conversion and a penalty. Earlier, skipper Ash Dixon got Hawke’s Bay on the board with a lineout drive try, which was followed up by tries to Tom Parsons and All Black Brad Weber.

Josh Ioane, who was named in the All Blacks earlier this season but is yet to get on the field, then scored for Otago to make the score 29-14. Former North Harbour and Blues fullback Michael Collins then came off the bench to score out wide and close the gap up to eight points, but that’s as close as Otago got.

Weber put in a fine shift to remind Steve Hansen that he’s still very much in good form, but fellow fringe All Black Liam Coltman didn’t do much to dispel any fears over his lineout throwing ability with a few wayward efforts.

The result leaves Otago, who hold the Ranfurly Shield, with one win and two losses so far this year.

Hawke's Bay 29 (Ash Dixon, Tom Parsons, Danny Toala, Brad Weber tries; Lincoln McClutchie 2 con, Danny Toala con, pen)

Otago 21 (Jona Nareki, Josh Ioane, Michael Collins tries; Ioane 3 con)

HT: 17-7