September 01, 2020

Mitre 10 Cup Preview | Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau will be looking for a quick ascent back to the Premiership after being relegated in 2019.

Coach: Tai Lavea
Home ground: Navigation Homes Stadium
2019: Seventh in Premiership (relegated to Championship)
Gallagher Chiefs: Etene Nanai-Seturo, Orbyn Leger, Nepo Laulala.

Talking points:
It’s a new-look Counties Manukau side in 2020 to the one which conceded nine losses last year to finish bottom of the Premiership. While the signing of Kieran Read has captured the headlines, the South Auckland-based team has made several other key signings on the field and one major one off it. Tai Lavea will coach the Steelers for the first time in 2020 and comes with big wraps after being involved in the Auckland coaching set-up for the last two years and previously leading St Kentigern College to five 1A titles in seven years. Impressive loose forward Dalton Papalii is quality acquisition for the side while the return of first five-eighth Baden Kerr after a couple of seasons in Japan will further enhance a backline full of game-breaking talent.

Player to watch
Aged just 21-years-old, Gallagher Chief Etene Nanai-Seturo is already a proven star on the sevens stage and has shown glimpses of his talent for the Gallagher Chiefs since his debut in 2019. With plenty of day-time fixtures and dry weather expected during spring, the stage is set for Nanai-Seturo to display his attacking flair out wide for the Steelers. Blessed with blistering pace, an elusive step and pin-point finishing ability, Nanai-Seturo

Counties Manukau squad
Suetena Asomua, Joseph Casey, Pelefofoga Cowley, Lyndon Dunshea, Sione Fifita, Penisoni Fineanganofo, Nikolai Foliaki, Latiume Fosita, Kalione Hala, Jarrod Halliday, Leigh Hughes, Jonathan Kawau, Baden Kerr, Kirisi Kuridrani, Luteru Laulala, Nepo Laulala, Potu Leavasa, Orbyn Leger, Dylan Letner, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Donald Maka, Clinton Malolua, Matiaha Martin, Ioane Moananu, Sione Molia, Alamanda Motuga, Tevita Nabura, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Conan O’Donnell, Dalton Papalii, Kieran Read, Jason Robertson, Cameron Roigard, Samuel Slade, Ryan Stewart, Viliami Taulani, Jonathan Taumateine, Zuriel Togiatama, Mickey Woolliams

Counties Manukau draw
Counties Manukau v Tasman
Saturday 12 September
7.05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium

Hawke’s Bay v Counties Manukau
Sunday 20 September
2.05pm, McLean Park, Napier

Counties Manukau v Northland
Sunday 27 September
4.35pm, Navigation Homes Stadium

Counties Manukau v Manawatu
Saturday 3 October
2.05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium
Waikato v Counties Manukau
Saturday 10 October
7.05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

Otago v Counties Manukau
Sunday 18 October
2.05pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Counties Manukau v Wellington
Sunday 25 October
2.05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium

Taranaki v Counties Manukau
Sunday 1 November
4.35pm, TET Stadium and Events Centre, Inglewood

North Harbour v Counties Manukau
Saturday 7 November
North Harbour Stadium, Hamilton

Counties Manukau v Southland
Friday 13 November
7.05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium

Mitre 10 Cup Preview | Counties Manukau