18 Oct 2014

Taranaki triumphant

7:04 pm on 18 October 2014

Taranaki have beaten Auckland 49-30 in a thrilling, extra-time semi-final in New Plymouth winning the province hosting rights for the grand-final of the Premiership for the first time.

Mitchell Crosswell reaches out to score

Mitchell Crosswell reaches out to score Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Rhys Marshall opened the scoring for the home side with a try in the third minute before his team-mate Mitchell Crosswell crossed the line four minutes later.

Auckland struck back immediately with Gareth Anscombe finding a gaping hole followed by a try to team-mate George Moala in the 18th minute.

With his side trailing, Taranaki's captain James Marshall found the line and the half-time lead for the Amber and Blacks, 24-23.

In the second half, Moala scored a second and Taranaki kicked two penalties leaving the score locked at 30-all at the end of 80 minutes.

Extra time ensued in which Taranaki showed why they finished at the top of the table.

The home side ran in three unanswered tries to Waisake Naholo, Blade Thompson and Jackson Ormond ensuring the jubilant New Plymouth crowd can return next week for the final.