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Waikato condemn Magpies to drop

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/10/2016 Angelo Risso
Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara of Waikato makes a break during the round eight Mitre 10 Cup match between Waikato and Hawke's Bay at FMG Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Hamilton, New Zealand. © Getty Images Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara of Waikato makes a break during the round eight Mitre 10 Cup match between Waikato and Hawke's Bay at FMG Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Waikato eased to a 46-22 win over Hawke's Bay, condemning them to relegation from the NPC premiership to the second-tier championship.

The Mooloos ran in six tries to two in the Hamilton wet but remain outside of finals contention with one round to play.

Hawke's Bay, meanwhile, have won just two of their premiership games this season.

They will look to end their season on the right note with a win over Bay of Plenty in Napier.

Waikato got on the board early on their home turf, crossing the line after some nice hands by winger Iliesa Ratuva.

The two sides then traded penalty goals, before Mooloos centre Willis Halaholo gave his side a 14-point buffer with a try under the posts.

Loosehead prop Tau Koloamatangi then barged over for Waikato's third in the 35th minute, before a second Mooloos penalty gave the side a 27-3 halftime lead.

"We've just shown everyone how not to play rugby," Magpies first-five Ihaia West said at halftime.

Trainor played a central role in the early second half, having a wonder-try ruled out for a knock-on before Hawke's Bay scored a penalty try in comical fashion.

The 20-year-old fullback had a kick charged down, before he and Ratuva both managed to spill the ball as Magpies lock Geoffrey Cridge advanced.

Mooloos second five-eighth Tevita Taufui was forced to pull Cridge's jersey back as he rounded on the ball, conceding a penalty try and yellow card in the process.

The Napier-based side looked refreshed playing against a man less and almost scored again when centre Robbie Fruean fumbled a grubber near the line.

But Trainor put himself at the centre of the action again in the 54th minute by scoring a five-pointer against the run of play after a Brian Alainu'uese break.

Hawke's Bay hit back quickly with a Tony Lamborn effort following a line-out, before snaring another in the 63rd minute through winger Mason Emerson.

A Trainor forward pass then saw another Mooloos try annulled, before Ratuva scored his second to put the game to bed with 10 minutes remaining.

Substitute Jason Robertson then rubbed salt in the Magpies' wounds with a 77th minute try off the back of a scrum feed, rounding off the match at 46-22.

"We've put everything out on the field," Mooloos skipper Whetu Douglas said.

"The energy, right from the warm-up, was there."

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