Hawke's Bay 6, Taranaki 22. Ranfurly Shield Challenge.
The hurt has returned to the Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby side's ITM Cup campaign and they're not afraid to admit it.
"We haven't got any more fresh injuries but the old ticker is hurting ... we let ourselves down and all the supporters who made the trip over," Magpies assistant coach and former captain Danny Lee said after this Ranfurly Shield challenge defeat at Yarrow Stadium last night.
Lee agreed the Magpies didn't capitalise as well as they should have on their first-half scoring opportunities.
"At halftime the boys told us they could go up another gear and continue to attack. However later in the game we didn't respect the ball well enough and this good Taranaki side in front of their home crowd took their opportunities," Lee said.
"We're not where we want to be with just one win from four games, but at least now we have a week to rectify things before our next game [Southland in Invercargill tomorrow week] ... that's something we haven't had for the last fortnight."
Magpies captain Mike Coman told the 8000 spectators his side fought well, but paid the price for turning the ball over at crucial times in crucial areas of the field.
Taranaki won the toss and opted to play into the wind which they anticipated correctly would pick up in the second half.
"We got our attack right last week and this week we got our defence right. Hopefully next time out we will get both right," a thrilled Taranaki captain Craig Clarke said afterwards.
Hawke's Bay had the territorial and possession advantage during the first five minutes. There was some tidy interpassing between backs and forwards but the Naki defence was up to the task.
The Magpies were awarded their first penalty in the 11th minute but first five-eighth Dan Waenga missed with his attempt at goal from 46 metres out on the angle. Until that point the visitors had enjoyed 80 per cent of possession.
Waenga missed his second penalty attempt in the 16th minute from 39m. Soft turnovers along with Waenga's two misses proved costly for the Magpies during the first quarter.
Taranaki first five-eighth James Marshall had his first shot at goal in the 25th minute from 28m out after Magpies prop Ben Tameifuna was ruled to be offside by Southland referee Keith Brown. It also was flagged away.
The score remained nil-all until the halftime whistle. The Magpies would have been disappointed with no points being posted considering the strong breeze was behind them during the first 40 minutes. However they would have been happy they didn't concede any points considering they had conceded seven penalties, four more than they had been awarded.
All of the Magpies deserve praise for their relentless defensive work in the first spell. Blindside flanker Adam Bradey was particularly prominent and he also shone with his link play.
The Magpies must have been proud of their set piece play especially in the first half.
Openside flanker Scott Waldrom, a brother of former Magpie Thomas Waldrom, was outstanding for the Naki.
Waldrom's Chiefs captain and lock Clarke was also busy. Naki first five-eighth James Marshall made the most of his limited attacking opportunities.
Taranaki fullback and New Zealand Sevens star Kurt Baker scored the first try of the match in the 41st minute when they attacked on an advantage call. Marshall missed the conversion attempt from the sideline.
Waenga opened the Magpies' account with a handy penalty attempt in the 43rd minute. The Magpies remained on attack after this.
Second five-eighth Andrew Horrell impressed with his intelligent options and his Chiefs teammate, winger Tino Nemani was always a threat on attack.
Waenga put the Magpies ahead 6-5 in the 54th minute with a penalty from in front after continuous pressure from the visiting pack.
Taranaki's substitute first five-eighth, Jack Cameron, put the hosts back in front with a 61st-minute penalty from wide out.
Busy Taranaki second five-eighth Jayden Hayward scored in the 67th minute following another burst under advantage. Cameron slotted the conversion and Taranaki led 15-6.
Waenga had the opportunity to close the gap with a 74th minute penalty from 48m out into the wind. He lost his footing and the attempt missed.
It was appropriate Waldrom, the player-of-the-match should extinguish any hopes the Magpies had of an ITM Cup bonus point with his 78th-minute try following a rare error from Horrell as the Magpies attempted to retain possession and create a breakout from deep inside their own 22. Cameron slotted the conversion from wide out.
While Waldrom was the hosts player of the match fellow flanker Jarrad Hoeata wasn't far behind.