Steelers hit hard by loss in deep south

Steelers hit hard by loss in deep south

The Counties Manukau PIC Steelers are feeling their most recent defeat of the season with a 42-14 loss to Southland at Invercargill.

Southland snapped a 27-game losing streak dating back nearly three years in some fashion with a five tries to two effort with the Steelers falling short in most phases of play.

A lack of discipline started the slide for the Steelers with Sikieli Nabou yellow-carded after a number of penalties conceded defending their line. They bounced back, ironically with a man short, with Nikolai Foliaki capitalising on some wayward passing from Southland, with an intercept try.

Southland replied with a try and penalty for an 18-3 halftime advantage, with the Steelers needing a strong start to the second half.

The opposite occurred with an early try for Southland hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate and by midway through the half they scored again against a try from Malgene Ilaua. Southland secured a big win with an intercept try 10 minutes from time.

The loss means the Steelers are  needing to make a marked improvement in fortunes in their final three games – away to Canterbury, home to Hawkes Bay and away to Manawatu.

Scores: Counties Manukau PIC Steelers 14 (Nikolai Foliaki, Malgene Ilaua tries; Riley Hohepa con, Orbyn Leger con.) Southland 42. Halftime: 7-18.