Poverty Bay 46 King Country 34

Poverty Bay was too hot for King Country under a blazing Gisborne sun in the Lochore Cup rugby final yesterday.

The match developed into a points feast and looked like being a one-sided affair when the hosts opened up a 43-17 lead with 25 minutes remaining.

Three King Country tries reduced the gap to nine points with eight minutes to go, though a penalty by second five-eighths Ian Logan secured the win for a wilting Poverty Bay.

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Bay captain first-five Scott Leighton was a key figure, scoring two of his team's six tries.

His opposite, Hone Wanden, sparked King Country's second-half revival, the 19-year-old crossing for two tries.

Winger Paul Olsen, the competition's leading try scorer, also recorded a brace and when flanker Beau Taylor notched their fifth, a turnaround loomed.

However, the gap ultimately proved too much, with Poverty Bay's domination of the first half proving the difference.

Their first two tries were set up by halfback Daniel Morath, who put winger Tim Gardner over and orchestrated a neat switch with fullback Kahu Tamatea for the second.

Olsen struck back for the visitors after a Wanden break but Poverty Bay centre Wade Owen scored soon afterwards, followed by Leighton's first try to hand them a 31-10 lead at the break.

Poverty Bay were top qualifiers in the contest.

- NZPA

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