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Auckland power clear of Southland

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/09/2016
Pryor Collier (L) of Auckland tries to break the tackle of Mike Molloy of Southland during the round three Mitre 10 Cup match between Southland and Auckland at Rugby Park Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Invercargill, New Zealand. © Getty Images Pryor Collier (L) of Auckland tries to break the tackle of Mike Molloy of Southland during the round three Mitre 10 Cup match between Southland and Auckland at Rugby Park Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Invercargill, New Zealand.

Auckland have run rampant in the final quarter to crush a dogged but outclassed Southland 51-16 in an NPC cross-over match in Invercargill.

The visitors scored four of their six tries in the final 10 minutes of the Friday night game after leading 9-6 at halftime.

They ground out a 23-16 advantage but only after Southland back Kieran Moffat was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle midway through the second half.

Southland, who fought out a 23-23 draw when the teams met at Rugby Park last year, eventually succumbed to the weight of possession against them.

Patrick Tuipulotu, Pryor Collier, Rieko Ioane and Kurt Eklund crossed in the dying stages, with centre Ioane bagging his second try after scoring from intercept in the opening moments of the second half.

First five-eighth Simon Hickey landed nine from 10 shots at goal in a 21-point haul as Premiership division heavyweights Auckland lodged successive big wins following their first-round hammering from defending champions Canterbury.

Southland have lost three from three, leaving them last in the second-tier Championship division.

They held their own defensively for long periods, with Sopoaga's two first-half penalties responding to three from Hickey.

Their lone try to former All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan was scored in the 65th minute.

Auckland will be concerned about a knee injury suffered by in-form No.8 Steven Luatua, which forced him from the field early on.

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