The Counties Power Heat have suffered their first loss of the Farah Palmer Cup season after a stunning Northland comeback that saw the Kauri win 32-20.
The home side looked like they would carry on their dominant start to the women’s premier competition when they shot out to an early lead on the back of a helpful wind.
First half tries to front rowers Katie Mailata and Glory Aiono as well as a five-pointer to second-five Ngatokotoru Arakua had the home side in control at 20-10 by the break.
But Northland came back into the game shortly after halftime and used an expansive game to full effect.
Winger Tyler Nankivell bagged four tries on her own while fellow winger Leilani Erwin also dotted down, helping the visitors score 22 unanswered points to earn the win.
A disappointed Counties Power Heat coach Chad Shepherd things they didn’t capitalise on their early advantage.
“We did and then I think we thought maybe the wind would do it in the first half,” Shepherd said. “We probably didn’t use it enough in the first half.
“To Northland’s credit, they used it well.
“It is hugely disappointing we went off script but the beautiful thing about rugby is that we get to have another crack next weekend against Waikato.”
Counties Power Heat: Katie Mailata, Glory Aiono, Ngatokotoru Arakua tries. Hazel Tubic conversion, penalty
Northland 32: Tyler Nankivell 4, Leilani Erwin tries. Timara Leaf 2 conversions, penalties
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