PIC Steelers fall to Southland to end quarters quest

PIC Steelers fall to Southland to end quarters quest

The PIC Steelers quest for a quarter-final spot has come up short after a 30-26 loss to Southland in Invercargill on Sunday.

The visitors scored the opening try of the game mid-way through the first half through winger Benji Malimali but then lost momentum and conceded back-to-back tries to Southland before the break.

Trailing 10-5, Counties Manukau got a big advantage when the Stags had a player red carded for a head-on-head collision.

The PIC Steelers took advantage of the man advantage to score 21 points and take a 26-13 lead by the time the 20-minute period had elapsed, and Southland were back to 15 players.

Halfback Jonathan Taumateine enjoyed a strong game in his first start of the season while Adam Brash, who scored a brace, and Samuel Slade were also impressive.

Southland came home strong however, buoyed by a vocal home crowd and winless streak dating back to last season.

They scored a pair of tries to take the lead and then kicked a penalty on the stroke of full-time to confirm their win.

It means Reon Graham’s side is unable to make the quarter-finals and will complete their season with a final home match against Wellington next weekend at Navigation Homes Stadium.