The Counties Manukau Bayleys Cavaliers have gone down to North Harbour 17-12 in their pre-season match at Mairangai Bay on Wednesday night.
The contest was a pretty even affair throughout although Tai Lavea’s side certainly had an edge at scrum time. They managed a number of tightheads but they didn’t capitalise on them in the slippery night conditions.
Nine Counties Manukau Academy players took part in the match and got a taste of top level footy.
Pukekohe’s Leo Ngatai was a nuisance at the breakdown while Thor Manase (Manurewa) had a strong game.
Peniasi Malimali from Karaka was impressive, while Alamanda Motuga, Sila Puafisi and Sue Asomua (playing loosehead) were dominant.
Sam Slade led from the front while Pukekohe club mate Jarrod Halliday had some nice touches.
“I was really pleased with the effort and intent last night,” Lavea said.
“The execution was lacking a bit in the wet conditions. But, all in all, it was a good hit out.
“The key thing from here is that the boys go back to their clubs and put in strong performances this weekend.”
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