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
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FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
Saturday , September 6
Auckland vs Wellington14:35
Taranaki vs Southland06:35
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs North Harbour16:35
Wednesday, September 10
Otago vs Northland09:35
Thursday , September 11
Tasman vs Taranaki19:35
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury315
2Taranaki413
3Tasman312
4Waikato49
5Counties Manukau38