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Taranaki finally quell heroic Tasman

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Sportal.co.nz     01 Sep 2012     Getty Images

It was a thrilling match that produced 10 tries and the result was only sealed when Taranaki first-five Beauden Barratt dived over in the final moments of the match.

Both sides claimed a four-try ITM Cup bonus point with the home side wrapping theirs up in just 25 minutes after a double for Kurt Baker and further tries to Blade Thomson and Waisake Naholo.

It was a good night for Tasman's front-rowers with props Campbell Johnstone and Tim Perry and hooker Quentin MacDonald all scoring after a scintillating opener by winger James Lowe. Robbie Malneek rounded out the tries for the visitors.

Seven tries were scored in a thrilling opening 40 minutes of running rugby at Yarrow Stadium, although some of the defending was poor with too many first-up tackles missed.

It took just 30 seconds for the first try to be scored by Thomson and there was barely a let-up for the remainder of the match.

Tasman responded quickly though with a superb effort by their left winger James Lowe who was put in space by Tevita Cavubati and raced 40-odd metres to the line.

A Barrett penalty edged the home side in front again and the lead was stretched further with the first of Baker's two tries.

Tasman failed to win their own lineout and a nice cut-out pass from Jayden Hayward set Baker away on his 60 metre run.

Goodman reduced the deficit to 17-10 with a penalty before Naholo finished off some good work by his inside backs for Taranaki's third five-pointer.

Again the Makos responded in kind, this time Johnstone barrelled over in the corner after an initial break by winger Peter Betham.

But the amber and blacks had their four-try bonus wrapped in the 25th minute when Baker finished off a wrap around move to complete his double.

Tasman stayed in touch thanks to the reliable boot of Goodman and they were back to within two points of Taranaki with eight minutes of the half remaining as Perry finished off a sweeping team effort.

Goodman and Barrett then traded penalties and it was 32-30 in the home side's favour at half-time.

MacDonald ensured it was a perfect night for the Makos front row when he crashed over two minutes after the break after Shane Christie, who was immense throughout, had stripped Baker and put Betham in the clear.

But having taken the lead, the Makos were their own worst enemies and conceded four successive penalties in front of their posts which Barrett had no problem in converting.
The last one also resulted in Tasman's Vernon Fredericks being sent to the sinbin.

Yet despite being a man down it was the visitors who scored next through Malneek's try after an excellent line break by Goodman.

The final 20 minutes got a little ragged as both coaches turned to their benches and Tasman desperately searched for the winning score.

Surprisingly, given Goodman's accurate goal kicking, the Makos, who were trailing 40-44, turned down a kickable penalty in the 69th minute and they were left to rue that decision when Barrett sealed the win at the death.

Scorers:

Taranaki 49 (Blade Thomson, Kurt Baker 2, Waisake Naholo, Beauden Barrett tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con, 6 pen) Tasman 40 (James Lowe, Campbell Johnstone, Tim Perry, Quentin MacDonald, Robbie Malneek tries; Andrew Goodman 3 con, 3 pen) HT: 32-30