Mitre 10 Cup: Auckland beat Counties Manukau in Pukekohe

Auckland rallied to claim a 28-13 victory over Counties Manukau in their Mitre 10 Cup clash from the Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe. 

Despite playing 30 minutes with 14 men on the field because of three yellow cards, they were able to hold on to an eight-point win. 

Both sides struggled for points early on, just an Orbyn Leger penalty separated them through the first 33 minutes. 

Akira Ioane was shown a yellow card in the 12th minute after repeated penalties deep in Auckland's half. 

But the visitors battled their way up the field and managed to score the opening try off the back of a lineout drive - captain Blake Gibson scoring. 

Winger Caleb Clarke showed great hands to carry the ball and slice through the defence to take the lead to 14-3. 

Tumua Manu was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, taking the champions to 14 men for the second time in the match. 

The home side was able to take advantage of the man down, scoring off a lineout drive through hooker Joe Royal.

Discipline got the better of Auckland again as Jonathan Ruru was their third player to see a yellow card, this time he's sent off for a professional foul. 

Once again, the hosts were able to make the most of their one-man advantage, Sikeli Nabou crashing over to make it a one-point game with eight minutes on the clock. 

But the reigning Mitre 10 Cup champions only needed one possession to score, they went the length of the field with patience and discipline, first five Harry Plummer skillfully broke open the defence and score. 

They put the game beyond doubt just minutes away from the final whistle, Clarke made the initial break and Salesi Rayasi finished it off to make the final score 28-13. 

Newshub.

 

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