The PIC Steelers have suffered a 37-15 loss to Waikato in their Bunnings Warehouse NPC match at FMG Stadium in Hamilton on Sunday.
The game was tight for an hour before Waikato blew the scoreline out in the final quarter.
Reon Graham’s side were superb defending their own line in the first 40 minutes playing into a stiff breeze.
They had little possession or territory but took an 8-6 lead into the halftime break.
Waikato only had a pair of penalties to show for their first half dominance before centre Tevita Ofa scored a try when Counties Manukau had a rare trip into the Waikato 22.
Injuries began to pile up as the PIC Steelers lost Nikolai Foliaki and Ahsee Tuala to head knocks while their front row was decimated to a range of concerns and the game ended in uncontested scrums.
Waikato showed their class in the second spell to capitalise on their dominance in possession.
Fullback Etene Nanai-Seturo scored a brilliant consolation try late.
Graham will sweat on the fitness of several players ahead of next weekend’s Ranfurly Shield challenge in the capital.
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