Counties-Manukau piled more misery on an increasing despondent North Harbour with a 40-32 national provincial championship win at Pukekohe on Wednesday.
Their electric backs, sparked by fullback Tim Nanai-Williams, provided high entertainment value to complement the labours of the forwards as Counties-Manukau registered their third win in eight matches after scoring five tries to four.
For North Harbour, it was their seventh loss and it came five days after their Ranfurly Shield challenge was denied by a last minute try by holders Southland last week.
Another start for Counties was bullocking centre Niva Ta'auso - who didn't get his name on the try scorers list, but he was the common denominator in his side's five tries.
It was an impressive display which made the most of his hard-running ability, and which provided opportunities aplenty, not all of them taken, for his outside backs.
Tries: Price, Nanai-Williams, Selwyn, Stowers, Aki
Cons: Semple 3
Pens: Semple 2, Baden Kerr
Tries: Wulf, Luamanu 2, Botica
Cons: Botica 3
Pens: Botica 2
Counties Manukau: 15 Tim Nanai Williams, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 James Semple, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Mark Selwyn, 6 Adam Cathcart, 5 Chris McLaren, 4 Ronald Raaymakers, 3 Matt Talaese, 2 Mark Price (captain), 1 Jeremiah Fatialofa.
Replacements: 16 Suliasi Taufalele, 17 Pete Hale, 18 Jamie Chipman, 19 DJ Forbes, 20 David Bason, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Bundee Aki, 23 Ihipa Thompson.
North Harbour: 15 Codey Rei, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 David Raikuna, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Chris Smylie (captain), 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Solomon King, 6 Irwin Finau, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James King, 3 Taione Vea, 2 James Parsons, 1 James Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 Brent Wilson, 19 Sam Hayes-Stevenson, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Willie Walker, 22 Nafi Tuitavake, 23 Adrian Smith.
Referee: James McPhail
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