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West boots Hawke's Bay to vital NPC win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/10/2016

Goalkicking trumped lineout drive tries as Hawke's Bay ground out a 30-21 win over Manawatu to keep their hopes of avoiding NPC relegation alive.

First five-eighth Ihaia West landed seven of eight shots at goal in wet conditions at Palmerston North on Saturday to decide the outcome of a tense cross-over match.

Manawatu scored three tries - all from lineout drives - to the visitors' two but they could only land two from seven shots at goal.

Hawke's Bay remain last in the Premiership division but they have climbed to within five points behind sixth-placed Waikato.

The Magpies will still probably need to win their two final games, against Waikato and Bay of Plenty, to have any chance of avoiding the drop to the Championship division.

Their second win of the season came at the expense of a Manawatu side who have dropped one place to fourth in the Championship courtesy of a fourth loss.

The hosts pushed 11-0 clear after half an hour when hooker Travis Taylor powered over for the first of his two tries.

However, Hawke's Bay were the more disciplined side from that point.

They clambered back to 11-6 by halftime and hit the front through a try to lock Mark Abbott.

West kept kicking goals but the decisive moment came when centre Robbie Freuan intercepted a looping Jason Emery pass and raced 70m to score.

Taylor earlier bagged his second try while reserve hooker Tim Cadwaller crossed from another lineout push near the end.

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