All Black Brad Weber has pressed his World Cup selection case with a sensational performance as Hawkes Bay held on to beat Otago 29-21 in the Mitre 10 Cup clash in Napier.
The halfback scored a try, set another up and had a hand in a third as the Magpies jumped out to a 22-point lead before Otago scored three late tries to close the margin.
Ash Dixon was the first to cross for the Bay, the hooker finishing off a maul for the Magpies.
Otago would respond with a try of their own, winger Jona Nareki cutting into to score on the left after a nice cut out pass.
An additional advantage was given to Otago when Magpies No.10 Lincoln McClutchie was yellow carded for deliberately knocking a pass down.
Despite the absence of their first-five eighth, the Bay would score next after Weber managed to pinch an attempted long lineout throw from Otago.
Lock Tom Parsons the beneficiary as he powered his way over from close range.
Danny Toala would kick a penalty to give the Bay a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Weber would come to the fore again early in the second half, setting up Toala with a well-worked blindside move.
He would then punish a 14-man Otago side, who lost Nareki to the sinbin for the same offence as McClutchie.
Weber darting back inside after a maul to score.
Another All Black hopeful in Josh Ioane would score to spark Otago’s comeback with a little over 10 minutes to go, the first of three late Otago tries that would close the margin.