Seventh loss for winless North Harbour
Sat, 22 Sep 2012 4:43p.m.
North Harbour remain the only winless team in the national provincial championship after a losing a bottom-of-table match against Southland 27-17 in Albany.
Too many errors and a high penalty count was the story again for North Harbour, who sunk to a seventh successive loss to remain a distant last in the second-tier Championship division.
Southland, who opened their campaign with four defeats, have now won two in a row after hammering Hawke's Bay last Sunday.
Despite the try count reading 2-2, Southland deserved just their second-ever win at North Harbour Stadium. They were the more disciplined team and first five-eighth Scott Eade made the hosts pay for their mistakes by landing six of seven shots at goal in a 17-point haul.
Southland trailed just 10-8 at halftime after playing into a strong wind.
A try to flanker Tim Boys helped cancel out an early try by North Harbour second five-eighth Pita Ahki, whose team failed to capitalise on a marked advantage in territory and possession before the break.
Southland pulled 21-10 ahead in the third quarter of the match through a couple of Eade penalties and a cheeky try to reserve halfback Jimmy Cowan. The former All Blacks No.9 stabbed the ball clear from the base of a North Harbour defensive scrum with his boot and scooped the loose ball to score.
Cowan threw a wayward pass when North Harbour struck back with a try to their reserve halfback Bryn Hall, reducing the lead to seven points.
However, Eade landed a penalty on the stroke of fulltime to deny the hosts a bonus point - a kick in the guts for a team who have played six games in the space of 21 days, the most condensed itinerary for any side this season.
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