Hawke’s Bay keeps hold of shield in thriller

Gareth Evans of Hawke's Bay makes a break during the round five Bunnings NPC, and Ranfurly Shield...
Gareth Evans of Hawke's Bay makes a break during the round five Bunnings NPC, and Ranfurly Shield match between Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty at McLean Park. Photo: Getty Images
Hawke's Bay has retained the Ranfurly Shield in dramatic fashion.

It clinched a 36-33 golden-point win against Bay of Plenty in Napier yesterday.

Barely anyone was at the ground to watch the drama unfold due to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions.

But Tiaan Falcon banged over a penalty in the 84th minute to seal the win.

It was his second clutch kick at goal. He had knocked over another penalty from 40m out to level the scores 33-33 in injury time.

Earlier, Bay of Plenty appeared to have secure the shield when winger Onisi Ratave scored a stunning late try.

On Saturday, Tasman dispatched Northland 48-29 victory in Whangarei.

The win lifted the defending champion into top spot in the Premiership.

The visitors ran in eight tries. Leicester Fainga’anuku and Mark Telea bagged two tries apiece.

Taranaki remains unbeaten in the Championship. It edged Premiership side Wellington 32-26 in Inglewood on Saturday.

Stephen Perofeta led the way with a 22-point haul to help guide Taranaki to its first home win against Wellington since 2009.

On Friday night, Canterbury held on to beat Waikato 20-19 in Hamilton.

Tepaea Cook-Savage scored late for Waikato but first five-eighth Fletcher Smith pulled what would have been a match-winning conversion to the left.

Due to Auckland being in Covid-19 Alert Level 4, all three Auckland-based sides were unable to play.

Their opponents, Southland, Otago and Manawatu, had to sit out the round as well.

Those games are expected to be made up at a later date.

Otago is not expected to return to action until its games against Manawatu on October, 2, while Southland will host Canterbury at Rugby Park on Saturday afternoon.

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