Rugby: Hawke's Bay dismantle North Harbour

North Harbour's Luke McAlister runs the ball at Hawkes Bay's Karl Lowe, left, and Bryn Evans during an ITM Cup rugby match in Albany tonight. Photo / NZPA, Wayne Drought.
North Harbour's Luke McAlister runs the ball at Hawkes Bay's Karl Lowe, left, and Bryn Evans during an ITM Cup rugby match in Albany tonight. Photo / NZPA, Wayne Drought.

Hawke's Bay showed patience and control to dismantle a limpid North Harbour 39-10 in a national championship division rugby match in Albany tonight.

North Harbour were the architects of their own defeat thanks to a confused performance from their forward pack leaving a backline with talent such as Ken Pisi, Nafi Tuitavake, Luke McAlister, David Raikuna and Willie Walker and Chris Smylie little ammunition to work with.

Twenty minutes of unexceptional play from both sides were finally ended by Hawke's Bay in the 20th minute by a break by Richard Buckman.

The fullback stepped through some gaps and centre Tua Sasave took the final pass to dot down for second five-eighth Andrew Horrell to convert.

Horrell stretched the lead out with a penalty before North Harbour finally gained control of the ball to put Hawke's Bay under pressure.

But though they strung a number of phases together, they were held out by a strong defence and had to settle for penalty points via first five-eighth Willie Walker's boot.

Hawke's Bay's reply came on the stroke of halftime as they strung 16 phases together before prop Sona Taumalolo burst the defence for another converted try for a 17-3 lead.

North Harbour emerged from their dressing room looking like they still had not remembered any of their lines.

Hawke's Bay, maintaining their composure, proceeded to run home another three workmanlike tries through Tu Umaga-Marshall, Gillies Kaka and Hikairo Forbes.

Horrell kicked a penalty and two conversions in the second half before North Harbour scored in the dying minutes with a try by Mat Luamanu which Ben Botica converted.

The result gave Hawke's Bay their third win of the season and took them to 13 points in the Championship standings.

- NZPA

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