The Central Vipers slumped to their second heavy loss in consecutive weeks as they went down 44-12 to the Counties-Manukau Stingrays in Auckland last night.
Counties-Manukau split the Vipers open out wide too often and their offloads led to a number of breaks.
The Vipers held them out at 4-0 for a long spell in the first half but they conceded a soft try and the Counties-Manukau began to tear them apart. The Stingrays were up 20-0 at the break in heavy rain and kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second half.
Just like last week against Wellington, Central showed more fight in the last quarter as they got their hands on the ball a bit more.
Andre Rore, Daniel Rakatau and Peta Simmonds crossed for late tries to give the scoreline some respectability.
Fullback Jaxon Samoa and centre Simmonds were dangerous on attack.
However, they didn't get enough ball and the side struggled to get out of their own half when they did get some possession. Central's kicking options at the end of their sets weren't flash and they struggled to apply any pressure on attack.
The Vipers age group teams both had big losses, the under-15s losing 72-0 and the under-17s 52-6 to Counties-Manukau.
Counties Manukau Stingrays 44 (H Tuha 3, K Maumolo, L Fa'avesi, C Whunui, G Smith, S Makahili tries; L Fa'avesi 6 con) Central Vipers 12 (Andre Rore, Daniel Rakatau, Peta Simmonds tries). HT 20-0.
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