Mitre 10 Cup: Taranaki pour on points to thrash Northland in New Plymouth

Taranaki have produced a clinical second half to keep their perfect season alive with a 52-19 win over Northland at Yarrow Stadium. 

Northland flew out of the blocks from the opening whistle, with Scott Gregory breaking two tackles in the first run of the match.

From there, the visitors worked their way up the field, before prop Ross Wright broke through the Taranaki defence to score.

Waisake Naholo and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi broke open the Taniwha defence, before spreading the ball left to Tupou Vaa'i, who crossed the tryline, but the play was bought back for a knock-on from Tahuriorangi at the breakdown. 

A superb dummy from fullback Jayson Potroz saw him break the line and find Daniel Waite, who set up Sean Wainui to score the hosts' first try of the game.

Their second came just minutes later, when Jackson Ormond lobbed a pass to Tahuriorangi on the left and the halfback scored untouched to give Taranaki their first lead of the afternoon. 

They continued to threaten with ball in hand, but couldn't find the final pass and went into the half-time break ahead 14-7. 

But when play resumed, the home side flicked the switch to produce some of the Mitre 10 Cup season's best rugby so far, scoring 38 second-half points. 

Within 40 seconds of the restart, Taranaki had their third try, thanks to a mistake at the back from Gregory, who misread a box kick from Tahuriorangi and the bounce fell straight to Jackson Ormond, who breezed over for his first try. 

From there, they were relentless and attacked with confidence, as they piled on the points against a limp Northland side. 

Tahuriorangi set up the next try, as he took a quick tap 10 metres out from the line and put lock Vaa'i through.

Two minutes later, Taranaki had another, when their backline worked the ball wide and Waite scored. 

Chiefs No.8 Pita Gus Sowakola set up another for the hosts, making a break down the right. The ball was recycled and shifted it left, where Ormond scored his second of the game to take the lead to 45-7.

Waite set up Taranaki's next try, throwing a nice short ball that sent Potroz through a gap to score and bring up the 50 points. 

The visitors had the final say though, scoring two tries in the final two minutes through replacements Renata Roberts-Te Nana and Coree Te Whata-Colley.

But it wasn't enough, as the Taniwha fell to their second straight loss and Taranaki remained perfect through three weeks. 

Northland will host Hawke's Bay on Saturday and Taranaki host Tasman in a mouthwatering clash on Sunday.