Harbour 23 – Taieri 10
Taieri drafted in the big guns, as Blues fullback Michael Collins and Highlanders Aki Seiuli and Guy Millar joined the team for the Challenge Shield defence against Harbour.
Despite the extra help, the Eels produced an error-ridden display at Peter Johnstone Park in what was its most important game of the season.
With its chances of making the semifinals gone, the team was hoping to lock up the Challenge Shield for the rest of the season in its last home game.
But Harbour pounced on Taieri’s mistakes, scoring late in the first half to take a 11-10 lead into the break.
The ball was swung wide from a lineout and winger Hemaua Samasoni went over in the corner.
A few minutes earlier, Taieri scored the game’s opening try when No 8 Riley McDowall, who was at the back of a lineout drive, muscled his way to the chalk.
Harbour stretched its lead to 18-10 when Ewan Brumwell scored out wide and Hawks first five-eighth Logan Allen drilled the conversion.
The visiting team attacked the try line late in the game and lock Chucky Koroi scored to complete the 13-point win.
The victory confirmed Harbour’s place in the semifinals.
Taieri made too many mistakes, particularly in the second half.
For Harbour, Allen had a cracking game and his tactical kicking was spot on.
Loosie Ben Whale was the standout Harbour player in the pack, while Seiuli was good for Taieri and halfback Kurt Hammer produced another solid performance.
Read the full ODT weekend write up here.