Northland shock team in Dr Farah Palmer Week 4

Northland produced their best ever results to beat Counties Manukau in the fourth round of the Dr Farah Palmer Cup.

Published by John Birch, September 26th, 2020

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Northland shock team in Dr Farah Palmer Week 4

The surprise result of round four of the Dr Farah Palmer Cup came from the final match of the round on Sunday when Northland marked one of their finest results in the competition when beating Counties Manukau at Pukekohe Stadium on Sunday. Having been beaten by Waikato and Auckland in their earlier games, Northland had sat out round three came back from being down 10-20 at halftime, to keep the home team scoreless in the second half with Tyler Nankivell settng a new Northland's scoring record with four tries as they emerged winners 32-20.

It is a resut that has thrown the North Pool wide open. The Auckland Storm moved to the top of the table with a 72-0 demolition of the North Harbour Hibiscus at North Harbour Stadium Outer Oval, but only occupy that position by virtue of having played one more game that their man rivals who - apart from Counties Manukau - won their games. And at Blake Park in Mt Maunganui, the Bay of Plenty Volcanix hammered the Taranaki Whio 73-17 to put them equal on 10 points.

TEAMPWL+/-BPPTSAuckland Storm                     4   3     0    103      4         16Waikato                                 3   3     0    86        1         13Bay of Plenty Volcanix          3   2     1    95        2         10Counties Manukau Heat       3   2     1    88        2         10Northland Kauri                    3   1     2      -8        2         6Taranaki Whio                      4   1     3    -153     1          5North Harbour Hibiscus        4   0     4    -211     2          2

In the South Pool, Canterbury are getting into their stride and the defending champions are the only unbeaten team after their demolition Hawke’s Bay Tui 72-15 in Napier, just one week on from an 85-10 win against Otago.

For a second week running, captain Alana Bremner and winger Martha Lolohea scored braces of tries, this time joined by centre Grace Brooker, as the visitors to McLean Park quickly took charge after conceding early.

Hawke’s Bay, who remain at the bottom of the South pool, shocked by opening the scoring in just the fifth minute, when openside flanker Niamh Jefferson burrowed over. But from then on it was one-way traffic in the 12-tries-to-three contest.

Canterbury’s win sees them jump to a three-point lead ahead of Wellington, after the Pride were slipped up at home, going down 31-28 to Manawatū.

The visitors flew out of the blocks to lead 12-0 with some magical interventions from fullback Selica Winiata, then closed out victory with a huge scrum in the final minute as the Pride looked to mount one last raid. It was the green and whites’ second win from three this season after an opening loss to Canterbury, while Wellington suffered their first defeat after 60-point victories over Tasman and Hawke’s Bay.

In a game of four tries apiece, Manawatū scored the decisive try to Carys Dallinger from a big overlap with eight minutes remaining, at a time when Wellington’s bruised defensive line was down to 13 thanks to injuries.

A smaller Manawatū side gave the ball air and with Winiata carving through gaps they found space out wide. Wellington, meanwhile, took a while to hit their stride but when they strung phases together they looked dangerous. Both their first half tries to fullback Thamsyn Newton and wing Ayesha Leti-I’iga were from clever short passes as they steamed through gaps.

An incident soon after halftime looked to be a turning point, when Leti-I’iga was try-bound again, but Michal-Vaughan hauled her down in what seemed a superb tackle. The television match official disagreed and ruled it high, though, and the penalty try saw the hosts lead 23-21.

The Cyclones sit two points back from Wellington, equal with the Otago Spirit, who bounced back from their 85-10 wallopping to Canterbury last weekend by thrashing the Tasman Mako 67-24 at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on Saturday.

TEAMPWL+/-BPPTSCanterbury                 3            3            0            158       3            15Wellington Pride         3            2            1            109       3            12Manawatu Cyclones   3            2            1            65         2            10Otago Spirit                3            2            1            -23        2            10Tasman Mako            3            0            3            -193      1            1Hawke's Bay Tui        3            0            3            -116      0            0RESULTS

North Pool

North Harbour 0 Auckland 72 (Daynah Nankivell 2, Patricia Maliepo, Grace Kukutai 2, Charmaine McMennamin, Saphire Abraham 2, Ruahei Demant, Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Shannon Leota, Joeannah Uaseli-Purcell tries; Maliepo 6 con). HT: 0-38Bay of Plenty 73 (Risaleaana Pouri-Lane 2, Pia Tapsell, Mahina Paul, Alena Saili 2, H Parata-Kingi 2, Luka O'Connor, Kelsie Wills, Natalie Delamere, Esra van Ramele, A.N. Other tries; Parata-King 3 con; K Tahere con) Taranaki 17 (Paige Neilson 2, Tiana Davison tries; Gayle Broughton con). HT: 41-0

Countries Manukau 20 (K Mailata, Ngatokutoru Arakua, Shonte To'a  tries; Hazel Tubic con, pen) Northland 32 (Tyler Nankivell 4,  Leilani Erwin tries; Timara Leaf 2 con, pen). HT: 20-10

South Pool

Wellington 28 (Thamsyn Newton, Ayesha Leti-l'iga, Joanah Ngan-Woo tries; Penalty try; Newton 3 con) Manawatu 31 (Janna Vaughan 2, Crystal Mayes, Carys Dallinger tries; Selica Winiata con, 3 pen). HT: 14-23Tasman 24 (Stephani Mitchell 2, Anna Bradley, Ashley Ulutupu tries; Eve Findlay 2 con) Otago 67 (Hinemoa Watene 2, Kilistine Moata'ane 2, Bree Thomas 2, Leah Miles, Amy du Plessis, Meg Breen, Rosie Kelly, Teilah Ferguson tries; Kelly 6 con). HT: 5-33Hawke's Bay 15 (Niamh Jefferson, Cortez Te Pou, Ashley Palu tries) Canterbury 72 (Alana Bremner 2, Martha Lolohea 2, Grace Brooker 2,  Lucy Anderson, Kendra Cocksedge, Isabella Waterman, Grace Steinmetz, Sam Curtis, Trina Greenslade tries; Cocksedge 4 con; Waterman 2 con)