Tasman battle to ITM Cup victory

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Kieron Fonotia and Peter Samu helped settle Tasman nerves with late tries to seal a 34-13 ITM Cup win over Bay of Plenty.

The 2014 runners-up dominated the first half of Friday's clash in Nelson with tries from Liam Squire and Mitchell Scott, but they allowed Bay of Plenty back into the match in the second half.

After Bay of Plenty had cut their deficit to seven points the contest looked set for a thrilling final 15 minutes, but they were unable to build on their momentum as Tasman finished strongly.

Fonotia and Samu crossed the line to give Tasman the advantage, while the trusty boot of Marty Banks ensured victory for the hosts – the fly-half bringing up his 500th domestic point in the process.

Tasman's positive first half began with a superb team move to open the scoring after seven minutes, Squire touching down at the end of 13 phases from the hosts.

After coping without prop Ross Geldenhuys midway through the half following a stamp on John Kitto, Tasman extended theior lead just before the break as Scott collected a pass from Fonotia to score.

Bay of Plenty's revival began as Zak Hohneck touched down under the posts, the forward taking a reverse pass from Pingi Talaapitaga to move the visitors within a score.

However, their momentum ebbed away as Tasman raised their game to finish with a flourish through Fonotia and Samu.