Steelers grab semi-final berth

Date published: October 15 2016

Counties Manukau claimed a 33-21 win over Canterbury to secure a semi-final spot in the Mitre 10 Premiership playoffs in Pukekohe.

It was a fairly quiet first half as the only try came through Manukau's scrum-half Augustine Pulu but Canterbury fly-half Jordie Barrett kept his side in the game through some well executed penalties. 

The second half was a far more exciting affair as both teams were eager to get on the score board. Counties Manukau prop Pauliasi Manu was the first to score in the second half. It took ten minutes till Dan Lienert-Brown would dot down for Canterbury to level the score. 

The Steelers continued to build their lead in the second half till through four tries and even though Canterbury player Nathan Earle was able to dot down for a five pointer in the 79th minute it was not enough to get his side back in the game.  

After the game Counties Manukau captain Augustine Pulu said: "We knew this was going to be a tough game and prepared to win. They are one of the best teams at holding the ball in hand so we had to keep applying the pressure on defence and make sure that we made our one-on-one tackles."

The scorers:

For Counties Manukau:
Tries: Manu, Pulu 2, Vaega, Judd
Cons: Francis, Laulala 3

For Canterbury:
Tries: Lienert-Brown, Earle
Cons: Barrett
Pens: Barrett 3

Counties Manukau: 15 Luteru Laulala, 14 Sione Fifita, 13 Sam Vaka, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu (cc), 8 Sootala Fa’aso’o, 7 Jordan Taufua, 6 Jimmy Tupou (cc), 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Viliame Rarasea, 3 Kalolo Tuiloma, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su’a, 17 Sean Bagshaw, 18 Sean Paranihi, 19 Matt Vaai, 20 Onosa’i Auva’a, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Joe Ikenasio, 23 Sione Molia

Canterbury: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Inga Finau, 11 George Bridge, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Jed Brown, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 David McDuling, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Tom Crozier, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Lee Roy Atalifo, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Dylan Nel, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Nathan Earle, 23 Poasa Waqanibau