Waenga boots Hawke's Bay to win
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 8:48p.m.
Hawke's Bay notched their 15th straight defeat of Counties Manukau and, more importantly, their first success of this NPC rugby season with a 37-30 win in Napier.
Both sides scored three tries but the goal-kicking of Hawke's Bay first five-eighth Daniel Waenga proved decisive, landing eight of nine shots in a 27-point haul.
That included the match-winning try with eight minutes remaining which gave his side the lead for the first time.
The hosts unleashed a surprisingly strong finish considering it was their third game in eight days.
Following losses to Auckland and Wellington, they surged to victory on the back of tries to hooker Hika Elliot, centre Tua Saseve and Waenga after trailing 20-6 midway through the first spell.
Counties Manukau, who opened their season with an impressive defeat of Southland, paid for indiscipline which allowed Waenga to regularly land penalties to keep Hawke's Bay in touch.
Baden Kerr was also on song with the boot for the visitors, landing 15 points while tries went to fullback Tim Nanai-Williams, halfback August Pulu and Sherwin Stowers.
The Stowers try put the visitors 30-22 ahead with half an hour remaining but Hawke's Bay showed better control up front for the remainder to maintain their remarkable dominance of the last 15 years over the south Aucklanders.
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