Otago brightest as marketing campaign ends

Otago’s Josh Whaanga reaches out to attain a strive towards Counties Manukau of their NPC conflict at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The place was that crew for many for the season?

Otago completed their bitterly disappointing marketing campaign with a powerful 38-22 win towards Counties-Manukau at Forsyth Barr Stadium as we speak.

Their closing act was a bittersweet second.

Finn Hurley hit the road with tempo and ran via the hole he noticed from not less than 10m again. He bounced free from the duvet defence and obtained away an offload which was shovelled extensive to Jeremiah Asi, who scampered to the nook to attain an totally good strive.

It was a glimpse of an Otago crew their followers had been hoping to see much more of.

Having stuttered their manner via a decidedly common season, it was fairly a closing 40 minutes from the house crew.

What did we be taught from it?

That Nathan Hastie is one of the best halfback within the province and will have performed extra.

Rookie Josh Whaanga has a really shiny future forward. He carried strongly once more and reached out to attain one of many 4 tries Otago posted within the second spell.

Sam Gilbert impressed at second 5 the place he was capable of get one of the best out of his imposing bodily presence.

Will Stodart’s cost from the again of a 5m scrum to attain was one other good second.

However none of it issues a jot, actually. The sport was a useless rubber for each side.

The playoff berths had already been claimed.

Otago did climb one spot to eleventh place, with three wins from 10 video games.

However, if something, the win towards Counties-Manukau solely highlighted how a lot the aspect underperformed this season.

The opening 20 minutes didn’t generate a whole lot of pleasure.

The small crowd of maybe 500 obtained jolted awake when Counties labored a transfer from the again of the lineout and obtained a stunning inside ball to winger Josh Grey, who smashed via Henry Bell’s deal with to attain.

Gilbert led the combat again. He obtained a flat cross to Hurley, who had ran a pleasant line between two defenders and sprinted in Otago’s first strive.

Counties fullback Etene Nanai-Seturo helped his aspect recapture the lead. He obtained the ball out extensive, beat Hurley with a giant left-foot step and jigged his manner round one other couple on his method to the road.

However Otago obtained again in entrance earlier than the break.

Lock Fabian Holland ran via a spot. He obtained chopped down however Otago swung the ball proper and winger John Tapueluelu crossed.

Gilbert opened the scoring within the second half when he hit the ball arduous and barged over with the assistance of his team-mates. That set the tone for a powerful half from the house aspect.

It was a pleasant manner for lock Josh Dickson to log out on a 79-game Otago profession.

– The Ranfurly Defend modified fingers on Saturday.

Hawke’s Bay upset Wellington 20-18 to finish their unbeaten run and snaffled the trophy.

Substitute unfastened ahead Sam Smith crashed over from shut vary with a minute remaining to degree the rating, and Lincoln McClutchie kicked the conversion from in entrance to seal the win.

However pictures emerged yesterday of the Log o’Wooden in two items.

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union chief govt stated the injury occurred when a participant by accident dropped it on a concrete flooring.

Regardless of the loss, Wellington completed the round-robin on the prime of the desk and can host Waikato in a quarterfinal.

Waikato had sealed their playoff spot with a slim 37-35 towards Canterbury in Hamilton, whereas Taranaki dispatched North Harbour 54-21 in New Plymouth to safe second place and can play Tasman, who misplaced their closing round-robin sport to Bay of Loads 41-12 in Tauranga.

The Steamers’ win noticed them edge forward of Hawke’s Bay within the standings and safe a house quarterfinal towards their neighbours.

Canterbury will host Auckland within the different quarterfinal.

Southland rounded out their marketing campaign with a 37-12 win towards Manawatū in Palmerston North.

It was the Stags’ first win in additional than a 12 months, and first win away from Invercargill since 2015.


The scores

Otago 38

Finn Hurley, John Tapueluelu, Sam Gilbert, Josh Whaanga, Will Stodart, Jeremiah Asi tries; Gilbert 4 con

Counties-Manukau 22

Josh Grey, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Ioane Moananu, Blake Makiri tries; Riley Hohepa con.

Halftime: 14-12