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Taranaki too strong for Southland

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/09/2016
McKenzie played his part with a couple of well-struck penalties. © Getty Images McKenzie played his part with a couple of well-struck penalties.

Taranaki have bounced back from Saturday's disappointing loss to Tasman with a 30-14 provincial rugby crossover win over Southland in New Plymouth.

Marty McKenzie led the way, kicking six from six on Thursday in wintry conditions at Yarrow Stadium, as Taranaki ran in three tries to one for the comfortable win.

Playing into a howling southerly gale and driving rain, Taranaki were clinical in taking a 13-9 lead into the break.

McKenzie played his part with a couple of well-struck penalties, but it was centre Sean Wainui's opportunistic try after seven minutes which signalled an ominous warning for Southland.

Wainui was quick off the mark in charging down Greg Dyer's clearing kick from inside his own 22, controlling the ball well in slippery conditions to touch down for the only try of the opening half.

Still winless in the Championship, Southland battled hard but had little ball to work with after the restart.

Taranaki made the most of the wind, keeping the ball close and showing good patience in building phases before Australian lock Ben Matwijow crashed over from close range five minutes into the second half.

Southland's solid defence kept the home team out for another 20 minutes before Lachlan Boshier broke through for Taranaki's third from an attacking lineout.

Veteran hooker Jason Rutledge hauled one back for Southland with smart work from the pick and go with six minutes remaining, but Taranaki's win was never in doubt.

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