4 Oct 2015

Counties all but seal stay in Premiership

12:29 pm on 4 October 2015

Counties Manukau have secured their place in next year's Premiership provincial rugby competition with a 30-9 win over Waikato in Hamilton on Friday night.

Counties Manukau players celebrate a try. 2015.

Counties Manukau players celebrate a try. 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The bonus point victory means the Steelers still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs, while the loss ensures second to last placed Waikato will fight with bottom side Manawatu to avoid relegation to the second tier Championship.

Counties scored four second half tries to secure the win that lifts them to 23 points, four behind fourth-placed Taranaki and seven ahead of Waikato with one regular season game left to play for the Steelers.

Counties face third-placed Premiership side Auckland in their final game, while Waikato play leading Championship side Hawkes Bay in a Ranfurly Shield game in Napier.