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Tasman and Harbour grind out draw

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/10/2016 Angelo Risso

Marty Banks of Tasman is tackled during the round nine Mitre 10 Cup match between North Harbour and Tasman © Phil Walter/Getty Images Marty Banks of Tasman is tackled during the round nine Mitre 10 Cup match between North Harbour and Tasman Tasman and North Harbour have put on a defensive masterclass to play out a 27-27 draw in the provincial championship.

Makos playmaker Marty Banks struck the post deep into overtime in Albany, as the two sides struggled to break through their opponent's defensive rearguard.

The two points push Tasman into the premiership top four on points differential with a game to play against Southland at home.

The Hibiscus, meanwhile, earn themselves some breathing space at fourth in the championship before their final match against lowly Northland in Whangarei.

An inauspicious opening period, with only a Harbour penalty goal to Bryn Gatland, burst into life when Makos second-five David Kaetau Havili crossed in the corner.

However, the Hibiscus hit back within three minutes when fullback Matt McGahan finished off a lightning counterattack.

A Marty Banks penalty goal levelled the scores in the 33rd minute, before Gatland and Banks traded further penalty goals to go into the break at 13 points apiece.

The sides' defensive focus continued after the break until the Makos were rocked by a yellow card to substitute Kieron Fonotia for throwing a punch in the 53rd minute.

Harbour immediately took advantage, scoring within two minutes of Fonotia's binning through centre Matt Vaega.

With a man advantage, the Albany-based side looked to turn the screws but, instead, conceded when Makos hooker Andrew Makalio crashed over.

However, they had a second chance to play with an extra man after Tasman blindside Ethan Blackadder was binned for raking the ball near the tryline.

Harbour hooker Adrian Smith scored through a driving maul from the subsequent penalty, but again the side couldn't take further advantage.

Tasman No.8 Shannon Frizell crashed over in the 76th minute to level the scores, but let all his good work go to waste when he knocked on with a minute to go.

The dropped ball set off a sequence of turnovers with the clock hitting 80 minutes, before Harbour gave away a penalty for failing to release the ball.

Banks subsequently hit the post with his penalty goal attempt, before Harbour knocked on to end the game as a gritty draw.

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