Rugby: Taranaki too good for Southland

Taranaki first five Marty McKenzie. Photo  / photosport.nz
Taranaki first five Marty McKenzie. Photo / photosport.nz

Taranaki have jumped into second spot in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership after completing a predictably routine win over Southland.

The Stags - who came into the contest sitting last in the Championship - were no match for the home side in New Plymouth, as three tries, the boot of Marty McKenzie and some resolute defence proved more than enough to seal victory.

Taranaki were the stronger side in almost every facet at Yarrow Stadium, establishing a lead while playing into a strong first-half breeze before controlling proceedings without any real problem following the break.

After Sean Wainui charged down a Greg Dyer kick to score an early try, the hosts made all of the running in the first 40 minutes and forced their opponents into far more tackling.

Taranaki enjoyed less fluency in the second spell, opting to kick away possession with the wind at their backs and a lead on the scoreboard, but some hard graft from the forwards allowed Ben Matwijow and Lachlan Boshier to cross and build a match-winning advantage.

Victory saw Taranaki edge ahead of Auckland on points differential, left trailing leaders Canterbury by a point, while Southland remain rooted to the bottom of the competition without a win in four games.

Taranaki 30 (S. Wainui, B. Matwijow, L Boshier tries; M. McKenzie 3 cons, 3 pens)
Southland 14 (J. Rutledge try; G. Dyer 3 pens)
Halftime: 13-9

- NZ Herald

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