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Steamers win over Counties Manukau

The Bay of Plenty Steamers made the voyage north and held on to win the 22-17 over Counties Manukau and retain the Chiefs Country Cup in Pukekohe.

Bay of Plenty made a strong start but battled for early reward in spite of having achieved several promising positions. One possible try was over-ruled by the TMO when it was revealed there had been obstruction earlier in the movement.
Chase Tiatia crossed the line for the Steamers midway through the first half the team were rewarded. The forwards collectively sucked in Counties Manukau defence creating the perfect overlap, placing Tiatia in space and over the line, Mike Delany made no mistake converting with ease to push his team ahead 7-0.
Counties Manukau capitalised on the little possession they had in the 37th minute through former Bay of Plenty Steamers hooker Joseph Royal. Having the opportunity to tie the game up but Latiume Fosita was unable to convert.
Bay of Plenty was awarded a penalty in the final play of half seeing Delany convert, with the Steamers running into the sheds with a 10-5 lead over the visitors.
Counties Manukau returned from the break launching their attack. Within minutes their winger Sione Molia scored in the right hang corner for his side. With a stretched defensive line for the Steamers the ball was hauled wide into the hands of Molia and he crossed the white line to edge them in front 12-10.
Patients proved beneficial for the Steamers, the steady work from the Bay of Plenty forwards allowed Judd to find the gap and reach out for the try. Delany converted once again.
As the reserves rolled on for both teams, the most notable of changes was the induction of Tanerau Latimer off the bench taking the field in his 80th match for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.
Reserve half back Luke Campbell injected energy into the back line, placing a nice chip over Counties Manukau defensive line placed Tiatia in a running race, Tiatia winning the race landed over the line scoring his second for the evening.
The Steamers now led 22-12 but tensions were high when Counties Manukau’s number eight Sam Henwood crossed the line after a clever quick tap on the 5 metre line, drawing the score in 22-17.
The Bay of Plenty Steamers held out the Counties Manukau attack to successfully defend the Chiefs Country Cup and go two from two winning 22-17.
Scorers: Counties Manukau 17 (Joseph Royal, Sione Molia, Sam Henwood tries; Latiume Fosita con) Bay of Plenty 22 (Chase Tiatia 2, Richard Judd tries; Mike Delany 2 con, pen). HT: 5-10

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