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
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North Harbour17:35
Manawatu vs Southland19:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs Waikato14:35
Wellington vs Tasman14:35
Wellington vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
  • ITM Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
Sunday , September 14
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
Saturday , September 13
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
Friday , September 12
North Harbour 24 - 13 Manawatu
Canterbury 46 - 12 WellingtonCanterbury vs Wellington Report
Thursday , September 11
Tasman 30 - 31 TaranakiTasman vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 10
Otago 23 - 40 Northland
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu 26 - 10 Counties ManukauManawatu vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury524
2Taranaki622
3Tasman622
4Auckland515
5Waikato615