Sat, 30 Jul 2016
The Counties Manukau Steelers had a good battle against Taranaki in their first Mitre 10 Cup pre-season match in Otorohanga this afternoon.
In average conditions, the Steelers fell just short 14-10 to Taranaki at Island Reserve.
Taranaki got themselves on the board early, breaking through the Steelers defence to score under the posts, before scoring a 60 metre intercept try shortly after to go 14-0 up.
Sherwin Stowers scored the Steelers' first try and they went into the half time break 14-5 down.
20 minutes into the second half Stowers scored his second. It was a really well worked team try, with Stowers hooking onto a good ball from halfback Jonathan Taumateine to make it the full time score 14-10.
Steelers coach Darryl Suasua cleared his bench, allowing everyone to get a run. He was particularly proud of their scrum.
"We had a really solid scrum and that was all the boys. Everyone got on and the scrum didn't weaken as new players came on and for a lot of the boys it was their first run with Counties. We were really happy with the hit out."
Suasua said Stowers' experience was invaluable and he kept talking to the boys throughout the game until he came off at the 60 minute mark.
Taranaki have been playing under the new rules throughout their club season, so the big thing today was for the Steelers to adjust to the new laws. Suasua said it was tough to start out with and they had 8 penalties against them before they got their first penalty. But once they adapted they got some dominance.
Well done to those players who played for Counties for the first time and thank you to Taranaki for the match. Our Super Rugby players will start returning to the squad throughout the next few weeks.
The Steelers next pre-season fixture is against Samoa A on Friday 5th August at 6:30pm at ECOLight Stadium. Tickets are pre-season prices; Adults $10, Students $7 & Kids 13 & Under are FREE. Tickets are available at www.iticket.co.nz or the CMRFU Office at ECOLight Stadium.
Season Memberships are on sale now from only $50 for a South Auckland Motors Embankment Membership or $100 for a Grandstand Membership for an adult and $50 for a child. Kids 13 years and under are FREE on the South Auckland Motors Embankment to all Steelers round-robin home games courtesy of Pak ‘n’ Save Pukekohe. Memberships and Individual tickets are available from the CMRFU office, www.steelers.co.nz, www.iticket.co.nz or at the Gate at ECOLight Stadium on game day.