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Last-placed Hawke's Bay lose to Tasman

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/09/2016

Hawke's Bay have sunk further into the NPC relegation mire with a 36-29 loss to Tasman in Napier.

The home side remain rooted to the bottom of the premiership division after suffering their sixth loss in seven games.

Tasman were their closest rivals coming into week six, five points ahead, but they were a class above Hawke's Bay in scoring five tries to four.

Hawke's Bay are now eight points behind sixth-place Auckland with three games remaining and are staring at an immediate return to the second-tier championship, having won promotion last year.

A bonus point win lifts Tasman to a 4-2 win-loss record and a share of fourth place alongside Waikato. They are firmly in the hunt for a third-successive semi-final appearance.

Tries to winger Tima Faingaanuku, centre Kieron Fonotia and impressive No.8 Peter Samu lifted Tasman 24-8 clear by halftime.

Hawke's Bay's patchy defence was forgotten when they created an exceptional long-range try to flanker Trent Boswell-Wakefield.

Tasman first five-eighth Marty Banks pounced on a loose ball to break a second-half scoring drought and push the visitors 23 points clear before Hawke's Bay embarked on a late charge.

Tony Lamborn, Jason Long and Jonah Lowe crossed to reduce the margin but Tasman winger Caleb Makene's late try ensured there was no chance of a boilover.

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