Mitre 10 Cup: Bay of Plenty tame Southland in regular season finale

Bay of Plenty have given themselves a chance to finish atop the Mitre 10 Cup championship table, with a hard-fought 22-12 road win over Southland.

Victory - their eighth of the season - elevated the Steamers to the top of the pile, now three competition points clear of Hawke's Bay, who face unbeaten premiership leaders Tasman on Saturday.

If the Magpies lose, Bay of Plenty will remain ahead, sealing home advantage through the semi-finals and final.

They needed 26 minutes to draw ahead in Invercargill, with flanker Mitch Karpik on the end of a backline overlap to score the first try.

But the home side responded with tries to flanker Matt James and hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate to take a 12-5 advantage into halftime.

After the break, 'The Bay' scored 17 unaswered points, with winger Emoni Narawa, and substitutes Te Aihe Toma and Tom Franklin crossing the chalk.

mitre 10 cup rankings
Photo credit: Newshub.

The Stags' chances weren't helped when fullback and goalkicker Matt McKenzie to a yellow card with 12 minutes remaining, with Franklin scoring the decisive try moments later.

Southland finished their season with just one win to their name, but can avoid the wooden spoon, if Northland fall to Otago on sunday.

Bay of Plenty 22 (Karpik, Narawa, Toma & Franklin tries; Toma conversion) Southland 12 (James & Pleasants-Tate tries; McKenzie conversion)

Newshub

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