Steelers supporters travel to North Harbour
It took 25 minutes before the first points appeared on the board and both teams looked evenly matched, when Tevita Li scored the first try for Harbour. Earlier Piers Francis missed a chance to convert a penalty.
Frank Halai snatched a ball from the hosts off a kick and created a chance out of nowhere, but Harbour took back the ball, resulting in a penalty for Counties in the 28th minute. Two minutes later Sam Henwood added to Counties’ tally after a fair amount of jostling near the try line. Grabbing the ball, he pushed backwards, then turned for a try. Piers Francis made it 7-13. A minute into extra time Jordan Taufua slid over the chalk, but the try was disallowed after a TMO review.
North Harbour knew they had to pick up speed in the second half to have a chance of a win and they did, never letting up on the pressure.
Add to that the fact that Counties had to play into the westerly breeze. Daniel Halangahu scored a penalty for North Harbour in the 46th minute, 10-13. Cardiff Vaega continued to be dangerous at centre for Counties.
Six minutes later James Parsons scored a try for Steelers supporters travel to North Harbour North Harbour and Halangahu converted, taking the score to 17-13. Counties lost Sam Vaka to the sin bin in the 52nd minute. Two minutes later Frank Halai almost made the try line. A scrum resulted in a penalty for Counties, which went into touch and Harbour won the line-out. Soon after North Harbour lost a man, as Christopher Vui was sinbinned for robbing Toni Pulu of a try scoring chance.
Twelve minutes from fulltime Piers Francis scored a penalty try after Harbour collapsed the scrum on the try line, 20 all. Then in quick succession Harbour’s Daniel Halangahu added another three points for North Harbour and Michael Little scored a try by diving over the top of jostling players, 28-20. Right on fulltime Counties produced a great run, but it was too late. Too many missed tackles, handling errors and dropped ball meant Counties suffered their fourh loss in a row, while Harbour celebrated their second win of the season.
Steelers’ Captain Jimmy Tupou said afterwards that it had been a frustrating game. “The boys gave everything and that’s all I can ask of them as Captain.”
Harbour’s Bryn Hall said, “We’ll take the four points. It was a pleasing effort and we were very fortunate to come away with a win.”
The score: North Harbour 28 (tries: M McGahan, J Parsons, M Little; D. Halangahu 2 con, 3 pen). Counties Manukau 20 (S Henwood try, penalty try; P Francis 2 con, 2 pen) . Since you’re here… we have a small favour to ask. More and more people want the Post than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Post’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. With investigative reporting, we often don't know at the beginning how a story will unfold and how long it might take to uncover. This can mean it is costly – particularly as we often face legal threats that attempt to stop our reporting. But we remain committed to raising important questions and exposing wrongdoing. And we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as NZ$5, you can support the Post – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Post