Sunday, August 20, 2017
Following a minutes silence for Sir Colin Meads Mike Delany kicked the match off. Within minutes the Steamers forwards got into their work seeing Opotiki’s Tom Franklin over the line to secure Bay of Plenty’s first try under the posts. With ease Delany secured the conversion to take an early seven nil lead.
With the Bay of Plenty forwards setting a strong platform for the backs, Chase Tiatia repeatedly broke the Northland line of defence but the Steamers were unable to convert their territory into points.
With Northland’s discipline wavering a high tackle on Tyler Ardron allowed Delany to extend the Steamers lead to ten nil.
Moments later Monty Ionae sliced through the defensive line after some superb footwork to score under the posts following TMO review. Delany faultless again with the boot extended the Steamers lead to 17 points to nil.
Five minutes before the break Northland’s Howard Sililoto drove through Bay of Plenty’s defence to score a converted try putting Northland on the board.
Again discipline a factor for the home side allows Delany to convert two consecutive penalties to extend the Steamers lead to 23-7 at the break.
Returning to the field for the second half the Taniwha unleashed their attack with the first try of the half going to Jack Ram and successfully converted by Dan Hawkins.
The tries continued to flow on for the home side. Next through Matt Wright slipping through the Steamers defensive line, and then followed by Jone Macilai to see Northland take a 28-23 lead.
Five minutes out from full time the Steamers gained possession going agonisingly close with Franklin but was held up by some superb Northland defence. The forwards regathered setting up the platform the backs to move the ball through the hands to put Delany in the gap and across the line but the Northland defence again held him up to see the score remain 28-23 with the home side securing the win.
Scorers: Northland 28 (Howard Sililoto, Jack Ram, Matt Wright, Jone Macilai tries; Dan Hawkins 2 con; Peter Breen 2 con) Bay of Plenty 23 (Tom Franklin, Monty Ioane tries; Mike Delany 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 7-23