North Harbour late show sinks Counties

Date published: September 12 2015

A strong finish from North Harbour saw them edge Counties Manukau 28-20 in Saturday's ITM Cup clash in Albany.

The Steelers led 13-7 at the interval but errors and ill discipline proved costly in the second stanza as Harbour used the wind at their backs to fight back to claim their second win of the season in a five-try thriller.

The scores were locked at 20-all heading into the final ten minutes but a try from Michael Little – the son of former All Black Walter – in the 72 minuted proved the killer blow. 

The result sees Harbour climb to fourth in the Championship division standings while Counties are now second last in the Premiership, with their semi-final hopes in tatters.

The scorers:

For North Harbour:
Tries: McGahan, Parsons, Little
Cons: Halangahu 2
Pens: Halangahu 3
Yellow card: Vui

For Counties Manukau:
Tries: Henwood, Penalty try
Cons: Francis 2
Pens: Francis 2
Yellow card: Vaka

North Harbour: 15 Matt McGahan, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Matt Vaega, 12 Michael Little, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Bryn Hall (c), 8 Hapakuki Moala-Liavaa, 7 James Doyle, 6 Christopher Vui, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Gerard Tuioti-Mariner, 3 Sione
Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Adrian Smith, 18 Alex Woonton, 19 Jordan Manihera, 20 Josh Blucher, 21 David Bason, 22 Josh Rowland, 23 Junior Va'a Tofa.

Counties Manukau: 15 Toni Pulu, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Cardiff Vaega, 12 Jonathan Faauli, 11 Sam Vaka, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Richard Judd, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Jimmy Tupou (c), 5 Sikeli Nabou, 4 Viliame Rarasea, 3 Jarrod Firth, 2 Gafatasi Su'a, 1 Pauliasi Manu. 
Replacements: 16 Sione Anga'aelangi, 17 Sean Bagshaw, 18 Sam Aiono, 19 Michael Lea, 20 Onosai'i Auva'a,
21 Kane Hancy, 22 Nathan de Thierry, 23 Jared Page.