Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Counties Manukau RFU
The Counties Manukau Steelers
The Counties Manukau Steelers is the representative team of the CMRFU. The team colours are red, white, and black horizontal bands, about two inches wide. Their home ground is Pukekohe Stadium. The team is traditionally comprised of Maori and Pakeha players. More recent years have seen a growing number of Polynesians becoming involved in the sport.
The 'Steelers' moniker is a reference to the nearby Glenbrook steel factory. The Union was originally formed as a breakaway from the powerful Auckland union, and has only occasionally overcome the dominance of their northern neighbour.
When the Super 12 began, Counties Manukau was associated with the Auckland Blues; but in recent years they have been aligned to the Waikato Chiefs. Member clubs include: Ardmore-Marist, Beachlands, Bombay, Drury, Karaka, Manukau Inst. Tech., Manurewa, Maramarua, Mercer, Onewhero, Papakura, Patumahoe, Pukekohe, Puni, Te Kauwhata, Te Kohanga, Tuakau, Waiuku, and Weymouth.
Counties Manukau rugby enjoyed its heyday in the 1980's. Led by Andy Dalton*, the team established a free-wheeling style of backline play, based on the silky skills and speed of players such as Bruce Robertson* and Robert Kururangi*. Other notable players from that era included Ken Parry, Jack Kani, and Lindsay Raki. From 1995 till 1999, captain Errol Brain led another successful era, with famous players such as Jonah Lomu*, Joeli Vidiri*, Danny Lee*, Tony Marsh, and Jim Coe.
The player drain of stars such as Lomu (Wellington), Vidiri (Auckland), Lee (Otago), and Marsh (France), signalled a downturn in the fortunes of Counties. More recent high profile losses were Loki Crichton, Sitiveni Sivivatu, and Kristian Ormsby.
[*] denotes a player who achieved All Black selection
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