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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821