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Bay of Plenty too strong for Tasman Women

Tasman fullback Jess Drummond attempts to hit the ball up against Bay of Plenty.
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Tasman fullback Jess Drummond attempts to hit the ball up against Bay of Plenty.

The Tasman Women's rugby team is still searching for its maiden win in this year's Farah Palmer Cup competition following a 38-15 loss to the Bay of Plenty Volcanix in Tauranga on Sunday.

It was Tasman's third loss of the series but again, they showed plenty of heart in defeat and a good measure of skill in scoring their three tries.

However, there was no denying the home team's overall superiority as they eventually scored six tries through better ball control and more clinical finishing.

Tasman were also reduced to 14 players midway through the second half when aggressive centre Wairakau Greig was yellow-craded for a high tackle on Bay of Plenty No 10 Ora Williams. The numerical mismatch aside, it also robbed Tasman of one of their attacking weapons following Greig's earlier two-try effort.

While naturally disappointed with the loss, Tasman head coach Marty O'Cain was far from disheartened. It was certainly a marked improvement on their previous 82-0 loss to Otago.

"For some of them, that was their third game of NPC so from the game against Otago to this ... the performance was far better," O'Cain said.

"You can go back through the game and at little points, one mistake and they scored off it. And if there wasn't that knock on or poor presentation at the breakdown, we could have held on.

"But Bay of Plenty haven't lost a game, they're a class act and we showed we'll fight to the end."

Tasman showed plenty of energy and determination on attack but were frustrated by frequent handling errors and turnovers.

Bay of Plenty showed much better control and headed to the break 21-5 ahead, including two tries to right winger Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly, with Greig scoring for Tasman earlier in the half.

Greig scored again straight after the restart following an excellent break by No 10 Risi Pouri Lane. And although they scored a third in injury time to reserve winger Shellie Barrie, Bay of Plenty added another three to seal a comfortable win.

Pouri-Lane, Greig and fullback Jess Drummond provided penetration on attack against an otherwise organised defence, while lock Hannah Gillespie, hooker Stephani Mitchell and No 8 Jess Foster impressed in a gutsy forward effort.

"I'm pretty proud of them today, the result aside," O'Cain said. "Coming from where we were two weeks ago, not only technically and tactically, but in their heads as well."

 AT A GLANCE

Bay of Plenty Volcanix 38 (Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly 2, Ora Williams, Luka Connor, Sapphire Tapsell, Sequoia Autumn Te Aonui tries, Crystal Mayes 4 con) Tasman 15 (Wairakau Greig 2, Shellie Barrie tries) HT: 21-5.