9 Oct 2021

Hawke's Bay too good for Tasman

7:30 pm on 9 October 2021

Hawke's Bay have outplayed Tasman 34-22 in Napier to retain the Ranfurly Shield and move to the top of the NPC premiership.

Hawke's Bay captain Ash Dixon (left) Jason Long

Hawke's Bay captain Ash Dixon (left) Jason Long Photo: Photosport

The Magpies have four wins from five games, and sit one point ahead of second-placed Tasman, who have played an extra game.

Hawke's Bay's win was built around a high-octane first half and a sterling second-half defensive effort.

Coming off the bye, the home team ran in four tries in the first 40 minutes - halfback Ereatara Enari kick-starting the effort with his fourth-minute try from a Bay counterattack deep in their own half.

Brendon O'Connor, Lolagi Visinia and Stacey Ili all scored for the Magpies in a 12-minute window, with only three penalties from the boot of Mitchell Hunt keeping Tasman in touch until All Blacks flanker Shannon Frizell crossed in the 34th minute.

Another Hunt penalty narrowed Hawke's Bay's lead to 24-19 at halftime.

Hunt nailed another penalty in the 53rd minute, but the Magpies hit back three minutes later through winger Neria Fomai, with the conversion - and a late Tiaan Falcon penalty - securing the win.