Counties Manukau v Canterbury Live

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Counties Manukau                          Canterbury
Saturday 15th October 01:35 GMT


Saturday's match at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe between the Counties Manukau Steelers and the Canterbury Lambs, is of vital importance to the home side, who are in fifth position in the Premiership Division table, and need a point to overhaul Auckland and claim a place in the post-season play-offs. Counties have managed just two wins from their previous four home games in the 2016 competition. However, the two defeats against Wellington and Taranaki were both just a single point. The visiting Canterbury side have won eight of their nine fixtures, with the only reverse coming in Round 5 when they visited Manawatu and lost 13-19, and are assured of top place in the table, whatever the outcome of Saturday's match.

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Counties are level on 29 points with the Tasman Makos, but are placed behind them as they lost the head to head meeting in Round 7 10-15. By the same token they have an advantage over Auckland who they defeated 30-26 at Eden Park in Round 5. Hence they need just a point on Saturday to bring them level on 30 points with the Gulls. With Tasman finishing their season with a home game against Southland, it is unlikely that Counties Manukau can overhaul them for third place even if they did beat Canterbury. A fourth placed finish would send them to Christchurch to face a re-match against the Lambs.

Posted: 19th September 2014


On Friday night at the EcoLight Stadium in Pukekohe it will be the turn of the Counties Manukau to try and halt the runaway juggernaut that is the Red and Black Canterbury ITM Cup team. Should they become the first side to down the Contrarians in the 2014 tournament, it will be a surprise of enormous proportions, given that the Counties are on a run of three straight losses after going down last week 26-21 to Waikato. Meanwhile Canterbury rolled on, with a 46-12 demolition of the hapless Wellington, who seems destined for relegation to the championship.

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The Steelers, who will be without the suspended Jimmy Tupou, have hit the buffers since they lost the Ranfurly Shield to Hawke's Bay. All of a sudden last season's semi-finalists are unable to turn possession and territory into points. Their chances of repeating last year's play-off place hardly look likely to have been improved by the end of this week. The reigning champions from Canterbury have been able to rotate and rest players almost at will all season, with no halt to their progress towards yet another title. They are two points clear of Taranaki at the top of the table, and have a game in hand. With 223 points scored and just 67 conceded, they have easily the most potent attack and miserly defense in the Premiership.

Tags: EcoLight Stadium, Canterbury, Counties Manukau, ITM Cup, Jimmy Tupou
Posted: 15th October 2016

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