Hawke's Bay continued their dominance in the Mitre 10 Cup rugby championship division with a resounding 35-17 win over the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls at McLean Park in Napier.

The Magpies, who beat Taranaki for the first time since 2014, had their foot on Taranaki's throat throughout the match on a fine evening to continue their unbeaten record in the competition.

Taranaki will be frustrated with their performance as Hawke's Bay made the most of the visitors' mistakes.

These included loose passes in contact, penalty kicks not finding touch and several errors at lineout time, both on defence and attack, that fell into Hawke's Bay's favour.


Within two minutes, Hawke's Bay was on the board thanks to smart thinking by halfback Folau Fakatava, who stabbed a kick behind that gave wing Mason Emerson the first try.

Taranaki bounced back through excellent vision from wing Waisake Naholo that allowed fullback Jayson Potroz to score his second try in as many weeks. The try was converted by Potroz himself but that was the only time the Bulls got close to the home side.

Hawke's Bay showed incredible patience leading up to Emerson's second try and soon after second five-eighth Danny Toala sliced through the defence. Hawke's Bay took a strong 21-7 lead into the break.

During the try scoring, Taranaki suffered a blow as hooker Ricky Riccitelli left the field with a calf strain midway through the first half. That bought Bradley Slater onto the field who played an impressive role in his fifth appearance for the Bulls.

After halftime, Taranaki started well that included a penalty kick to Perofeta, but it all went downhill from there.

Referee Nick Hogan, who blew 35 penalties in the match, ran out of patience as two players were sent to the sin-bin within minutes of each other. First, lock Leighton Price was shown yellow, followed by flanker Heiden Bedwell-Curtis in the following movement, who gave away a penalty try in the process.

Toala scored his second try, while Bedwell-Curtis made the score look a little more respectable dotting down under the posts before fulltime.

Speaking after the match, Taranaki vice-captain Teihorangi Walden credited Hawkes Bay for their performance but acknowledged his side's discipline let them down.


"The boys worked really hard this week on defence and we can't afford to give away penalties. We will connect up, stay tight and move forward into the competition."

Taranaki host bottom of the table side Southland on Thursday night.

In the double header, the Port Taranaki Whio suffered a 74-0 loss against the Hawkes Bay Tui in Napier.

Hawke's Bay continued their unbeaten record in the Farah Palmer Cup.

At a glance:
Hawke's Bay 35 (Penalty try tries: Mason Emerson 2, Danny Toala 2, Conversions: Lincoln McClutchie 4)
Taranaki 17 (Tries: Jayson Potroz, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis. Conversion: Potroz, Penalty and conversion: Stephen Perofeta).
Half Time: 21-7.