Counties Manukau v Wellington Live

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Counties Manukau                          Wellington
Friday 9th September 07:45 GMT


Counties Manukau Steelers who host the Wellington Lions on Friday at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe, may currently sit in second position in the Premiership Division of the 2016 ITM Cup, but Counties Manukau form and results hardly suggest that they are likely to sustain such an elevated position until the end of the regular season. A 17-20 loss in Albany in Round 1 against North Harbour, is their only defeat this season, but by the same token, it the only game that Championship side North Harbour have won in 2016.

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Counties only previous home game, ended in a narrow 39-34 success against Bay of Plenty, another Championship team, and one that has lost all three fixtures that it has played so far. Although Round 3 brought a comprehensive 48-20 victory at Hawke's Bay, the losers have been the whipping boys of the Premiership so far in 2016, with three defeats and a points difference of -65. The Lions are currently third in the Championship, with two wins to their credit. Hawke's Bay were defeated 36-26, as were North Harbour 21-17 in their only home game to date. The solitary defeat for the Wellington Lions so far in 2016, was when they travelled to Otago and were beaten 44-21 by the 100% Division leaders.

Posted: 27th September 2014


The 2014 season has been one of huge disappointment for the Counties Manukau. Not only have they never challenged for a top four place in the Premiership from the outset, but they also lost their coveted Ranfurly Shield in Week 3 to Hawkes Bay. However, Saturday at the ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe probably sees the biggest fixture of the season for Counties, as well as their visitors from Wellington.

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The bottom two sides in the ITM Cup Premiership clash in a contest that will have a massive bearing on which of the two sides is ultimately relegated at the end of the regular season. Wellington fall from grace in 2014, has been nothing short of sensational. Last season they finished at the top of the table in the regular season, and were favourites to beat Canterbury in the final, only to come unstuck when it really mattered against the perennial champions. 2014 has seen them pick up just two losing bonus points from their six fixtures, all of which have been lost, as they find themselves propping up the table with just three weeks of the season remaining. Counties sit just above them, but have a seven point advantage going into Saturday's titanic collision. The Steelers having managed a win and a draw in the current campaign.

Tags: ECOLight Stadium, ITM Cup, Counties Manukau, Wellington
Posted: 9th September 2016

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