Planet Rugby

Counties hang onto Log o' Wood

21st September 2013 07:11

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Toni Pulu scores a try Counties Manukau v Waikato

Try for Counties: Toni Pulu

Counties Manukau have once again successfully defended the Ranfurly Shield, holding off a still challenge from Waikato to win 37-25 in a thrilling ITM Cup clash in Pukekohe on Saturday.

The bonus point win sees the Steelers establish a nine-point buffer over Waikato for fourth spot in the ITM Cup Premiership, though Waikato have a match in hand. Relegation - Counties' primary concern at the start of their first season in the Premiership - seems unlikely now.

Tana Umaga's side outscored their visitors four tries to three in a pulsating encounter. Counties led 20-11 at the interval and extended the lead after the break, only to see Waikato fight back bravely to within in five points midway through the second period.

The game was not without a tinge of controversy as the TMO was called upon to check the grounding of Steelers wing Toni Pulu's 58th try, which proved the killer blow to the Mooloo Men's challenge

The win also means Counties now have to see off just one more challenge to retain the Shield for the season, when they host Southland on October 11.

The scorers:

For Counties Manukau :
Tries: Stowers, A. Pulu, Lee, T. Pulu
Cons: Kerr 4
Pens: Kerr 3
Yellow card: A. Pulu

For Waikato:
Tries: Renata, Grice, Christie
Cons: Renata 2
Pens: Renata 2
Yellow card: Alo-Emile

Counties: 15 Sherwin Stowers, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee (capt), 7 Maama Vaipulu, 6 Adam Cathcart, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Ronald Raaymakers, 3 Jarrod Firth, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Sam Aiono.
Replacements: 16 Suliasi Taufalele, 17 Matt Talaese, 18 Sikeli Nabou, 19 Sean Reidy, 20 Kane Hancy, 21 Ahsee Tuala, 22 Sam Vaka.

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Tim Mikkelson, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Dylan Collier, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Adam Burn, 7 Jono Armstrong, 6 Rory Grice, 5 Sam Kilgour, 4 Nick Ross, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Vance Elliott, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Sean Hohneck, 19 Zak Hohneck, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Wharenui Hawera, 22 Semisi Masirewa.

Venue: ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe
Referee: Chris Pollock

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay04:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
Saturday , August 16
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 15
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
  • ITM Cup Table
Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury210
2Tasman15
3Waikato25
4Taranaki23
5Counties Manukau12