In the third round of the 2023 National 20s Competition, the Waikato Mana met Bay of Plenty in Rotorua at Puketawhero Park.

It took almost 20 minutes of battling between the two teams before we saw the first points on the board. Waikato opened the match up with the first try to Cowan. Quickly followed by another try from teammate Sulusi. Connelly was the next Waikato player to score that pushed his team out to a comfortable lead to close out the scrappy first half.

Bay of Plenty came into the second half firing with a first try within the first five minutes to Hebden-Penitoa. Jackson-Williams was next to score a try for Bay of Plenty closing the gap between the teams. Waikato hit back with a try of their own through Baretoka. Bay of Plenty scored under the posts with less than two minutes to go in the match through influential number twelve Pereira but it wasn’t enough to see his team through to the semi-finals.

Waikato come away with the win over Bay of Plenty 20-18. The action continues next week as we move into the semi-finals stage of the competition.