8 Aug 2010

North Harbour beat Northland in referees time

7:06 pm on 8 August 2010

A North Harbour drop goal deep into referees time of the provincial rugby championship, has secured the visitors a dramatic 25-24 win against Northland in Whangerei.

Northland lead North Harbour from the seventh minute of the match, scoring three tries to one during the first half to lead 21-13 at the break.

But Harbour came out in force in the second half, and brought the match to within two points with six minutes to play, following some accurate penalty kicking from Ben Botica.

The visitors kept the pressure on Northland as the referee let the match go into injury time, and when they couldn't crack the home side's defence, Botica slotted a drop goal from 22 metres out to clinch Harbour's first win.

Earlier today, Counties Manukau upset Wellington 35-21 at Westpac Stadium to move to the top of the table with Southland.

Southland host Counties next weekend, with the winner to claim the table lead and the Ranfurly Shield.