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Otago B has relinquished the South Island B championship in losing 24-22 to Tasman at the North Ground on Saturday.
Tasman finished the brief campaign unbeaten. But for Otago B, it was another game that slipped away.
Tasman started strongly and scored a converted try after only five minutes. Otago bounced back immediately and scored a well-worked team try through winger Adam Simpson. Josh Casey missed the sideline conversion and the score stayed 7-5 for the majority of the half as the teams battled away.
Tasman scored right on halftime to take a 14-5 lead into the break.
In a reversal of the first half, Otago came out firing and scored early through fullback Matt Jones. Tasman replied with a converted try and a penalty to extend its lead 24-10 after 55 minutes.
Simpson scored his second with 20 minutes remaining and when Jacob Mapu scored under the posts with eight minutes left, the game was in the balance at 24-22.
But Tasman weathered the final few minutes and clinched the championship.