Counties make it count

02nd Sep 2010, 12:29

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Try time: Ahsee Tuala on his way to score

Try time: Ahsee Tuala on his way to score

Counties Manukau bounced back from last week's ITM Cup hammering to beat Tasman 23-3 at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe on Thursday.

Counties Manukau bounced back from last week's ITM Cup hammering to beat Tasman 23-3 at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe on Thursday.

The win not only buried the memory of last week's 3-39 loss to Waikato but also moved them back up into temporary occupation of second spot in the standings on 19 points alongside Wellington with the rest of the round still to come.

The wet weather certainly played its part and despite the presence of All Black prop Ben Franks, Tasman's scrum struggled while their back-line play was ragged.

The Makos only points of the match came in the fifteenth minute from scrum-half Steve Alfeld with a well-struck penalty., who had missed his first attempt earlier on.

From then on it was all the Steelers whose forwards took control of the match to give all the quick ball their back-line wanted.

Fullback Tim levelled the scores with a penalty in the 19th minute after free running wing Sherwin Stowers had chased down opposite number Blair Cook to stop an almost certain try.

Nanai-Williams then threw a pass out to wing Ahsee Tuala to dot down in the corner after Tana Umaga had broken the Tasman defence. Nanai-Williams nailed the conversion and then added another penalty to put his side 13-3 at half-time.

Tasman hardly fired any shots in the second half, turning ball over regularly and running down blind alleys when they had possession.

Nanai-Williams stretched Counties lead out with a 41st minute penalty and then Stowers deservedly got a converted try after a brilliant break by halfback August Pulu through a back-pedalling Tasman defence.

The scorers:

For Counties Manukau:
Tries: Tuala, Stowers
Cons: Nanai Williams 2
Pens: Nanai Williams 3

For Tasman:
Pen: Alfeld

Counties-Manukau: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Tana Umaga, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 August Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Pepa Kolomatangi, 6 Ronald Raaymakers, 5 Jamie Chipman (c), 4 Taiasina Tuifua, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Grant Henson, 1 Simon Lemalu.
Replacements: 16 Mark Price, 17 Graham Dewes, 18 Sikeli Nabou, 19 Mark Selwyn, 20 Samisoni Fisilau, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo, 22 David Raikuna.

Tasman: 15 Robbie Malneek, 14 Blair Cook, 13 Kade Poki, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 James Kamana, 10 James Marshall, 9 Steve Alfeld, 8 Joe Wheeler, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Tasi Luafutu, 5 Ben Coman, 4 Glen Gregory (c), 3 Ben Franks, 2 Francis Smith, 1 Fai Mika.
Replacements: 16 Vernon Fredericks, 17 Craig Moore, 18 Jarrod Aberhart, 19 Shane Christie, 20 Kaide Whiting, 21 Sione Holani, 22 Afeleki Pelenise.

Referee: Kane McBride