The Bayleys Counties Manukau Cavaliers have narrowly lost their two Chiefs Cup matches but showed big improvements on last season’s performances.
Tai Lavea’s side led for most of the way through their first match against Bay of Plenty in Hamilton on Saturday.
A late try allowed Bay of Plenty to equalise however and send the game into a golden point five-minute period, in which the Steamers scored again to progress to the final.
The Cavaliers side led early against Waikato before the home side eventually pulled away to win the game 21-12.
Bay of Plenty went on to beat Taranaki in the final to show how close the contests were between all four unions.
Lavea mixed and matches his teams to ensure he used his 32-strong squad and give everyone some game time.
Waiuku’s Suetena Asomua and Ardmore Marist loose forward Alamanda Motuga were two stand-out performers for the Counties Manukau side.
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