The Counties Manukau PIC Steelers have gone down 24-15 to Northland at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe in the Mitre 10 Cup on Sunday.
After a strong first half that saw the home side go to the break leading 12-3 and turning to play with the wind in the second 40 minutes, the PIC Steelers looked set for their first win of the season.
But Northland turned it on the second spell, playing with better poise and enjoying the territorial advantage that kept ticking the score board over.
It is the third successive loss for the PIC Steelers after losses to defending champions Tasman and to Hawke’s Bay.
Coach Tai Lavea was left frustrated with his side after they failed to follow instructions from the coaching staff.
“Discipline – we spoke about it at halftime and we shot ourselves in the foot with it,” Lavea said.
“Then it snowballed on us. We lost those key moments. We gave ourselves some good opportunities to score but we pushed passes and turned over the ball.
“We needed to muscle up for a period of time. We just can’t go for turnovers every single time.
“We let that one slip.”
The PIC Steelers are back home at Navigation Homes Stadium next Saturday when they face a must-win test against Manawatu.
Counties Manukau PIC Steelers 15: Kieran Read, Alamanda Motuga tries. Baden Kerr conversion, penalty.
Northland 24: Temo Mayavananua, Tom Robinson, Pisi Leilua tries. Dan Hawkins 3 conversions, penalty
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