Thu, 29 Sep 2016
The Counties Manukau Steelers have fallen just short 15-10 to the Tasman Makos in their Mitre 10 Cup Premiership match at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim tonight.
It was a low-scoring encounter with plenty of mistakes by both sides on a slippery pitch, but the hosts managed to hold out the Steelers who scored the only try in the match.
Marty Banks kicked all of Tasman’s points and he got the scoring underway, kicking a penalty in the 14th minute. He kicked another two penalties to take their lead out to 9-0 after 24 minutes.
The Steelers were starved of possession in the first 20 minutes, having just 39% of the ball. But in the 26th minute, they opted to kick for the corner instead of going for the three points and it paid off. Co-captain Jimmy Tupou scored out wide after the forwards rumbled up the middle of the field.
The Steelers lost Augustine Pulu to the sinbin eight minutes before half time after the referee decided he retaliated to a late tackle. Banks slotted his fourth penalty of the night to take the score out to 12-7. Piers Francis kicked a penalty right on half time to close the gap to 12-10 at the break.
Once the Steelers got their hands on the ball in the second half they went well and were strong on attack. Sam Vaka made a couple of solid breaks through the midfield, one of which nearly set Sherwin Stowers up for a try on the left wing, but the ball went to ground on the sideline.
Counties Manukau had a lot more of the possession in the second half, but the boot of Marty Banks proved to be the difference. He kicked the only points in the second spell in the 70th minute to eventually give the Tasman Makos a 15-10 victory.
Counties Manukau won’t leave Blenheim empty handed as they secured a bonus point for being within seven points and as of Thursday night they sit second equal on the Premiership table with Taranaki.
Tasman Makos 15 (Marty Banks 5 pens)
Counties Manukau Steelers 10 (Jimmy Tupou try; Piers Francis 1 con, 1 pen)
The Steelers next Mitre 10 Cup game is against Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday 8 October at 5:35pm.
Their final regular season home game of the Mitre 10 Cup at ECOLight Stadium is against Canterbury on Saturday 15 October at 2:35pm. Tickets are available for purchase at the CMRFU Office at ECOLight Stadium during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm) or at www.iticket.co.nz or at the Gate on Game Day. In the Grandstand, Adults cost $20, Students $15 and Kids $10. Kids 13 & Under are FREE on the South Auckland Motors Embankment thanks to Pak ‘n’ Save Pukekohe.
Photo Credit - Richard Spranger