Planet Rugby

Auckland hang on for victory

28th September 2012 10:36

Share:

Bundee Aki

Steelers: Held tryless in the wet

Auckland survived a last-ditch effort from Counties Manuaku in extra time to win a hard-faught ITM crossover clash 22-18.

Both sides threw everything at each other in a brutal encounter played in the wet, but the home side's set-piece and defence proved to be the difference as they held the Steelers tryless for the first time this season.

Counties got off to a great start and posted first points through the boot pivot Baden Kerr as he ensured Counties Manuaku would play from in front.

Auckland replied immediately after though as they found themselves in a great attacking position. The hosts continued to bustle their way towards the line and loose forward Sean Polwart scored the opening try. Gareth Anscombe added the extras.

Polwart would later be guilty of conceding the penalty allowing Kerr to close the gap with a long-range attempt after 12 minutes. It was evident Counties looked to plug the hosts deep within their half as the young playmaker Kerr kicked two penalty goals minutes within of each other.

There were further penalties to Kerr and Anscombe but it was Auckland who held the slender one-point (16-15_ lead going into the half-time sheds.

The Steelers suffered an early setback in the second half when they were reduced to 14 men after veteran hooker Mahonri Schwalger was sent to the sin-bin for repeated infringements.

Counties showed great character in defence though as they restricted the Auckland attack with Anscombe's penalty the only points to show for their one man advantage.

It was then the turn of the men in blue and white hoops to defend as the visitors were in prime position to apply some pressure on Auckland's defensive line. However the hosts were up to the task, forcing critical turnovers to clear their line.

Counties were still in it and looked to snatch victory as the clock ticked past 80 minutes, but Auckland held on for a vital win.

The defeat still sees Counties Manukau stay on top of the Championship standings but they will look to rebound when the host Waikato in Pukekohe next Saturday.

The scorers:

For Auckland:
Try: Polwart
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 5

For Counties Manuaku:
Pens: Kerr 6

Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Dave Thomas, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Joe Edwards, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Andrew van der Heijeden, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Angus Ta'avau.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sean Brookman, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Scott Patterson, 21 Simon Hickey, 22 Lolagi Visinia.

Counties Manuaku: 15 Tim Nanai-Willliams, 14 Tony Pulu, 13 Rey Lee Lo, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 August Pulu; 8 Adam Cathcart, 7 DJ Forbes (c), 6 Maama Vaipulu, 5 Daniel Adongo, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Matt Talaese, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Simon Lemalu.
Replacements: Suliasi Taufalele, Maka Tatafu, Jamie Chipman, Sikeli Nabou, David Bason, Ray Laulala, Tyrone Lefau

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Waratahs vs BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
New Zealand 36 - 13 EnglandNew Zealand vs England Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00