09 April 2022

The two leading teams in the Sky Sport Women’s Premiership faced off this morning in a grand final preview, and it was nothing short of a passionate display of footy at Auckland’s Bruce Pulman Park.

Akarana’s Albert-Jones kicked off the scoring with a barging run through the middle, but Counties hit back through Gloria Murray-Fiu and Kiwi Fern veteran Fotu-Moala. The reigning Sky Sport Premiers went into the break with an 18-4 lead.

As in the first half, Akarana came out firing with a try to fullback Lavinia Tahalaliku bringing it back within an eight-point game.

However, in true Counties fashion, they hit straight back with a clever left edge shift to put winger Kelly Alexander over for the Stingrays and in front by 10.

It wasn’t long until Akarana prop Clementine Varea’s charging run down the middle set up Albert-Jones for her second of the day, bringing the game back to within a converted try.

Counties’ quick play the balls had Akarana on the back foot, putting centre Abigail Roache into space and over for the Stingray’s second of the half.

However, a clinical kick from Albert-Jones put Akarana back into attacking position to which Kiwi Fern Kanyon Paul ran a beautiful line to bring the game to within only four points.

With two minutes remaining, Akarana stormed down the field to earn a six again set on their line; however, a mistake on the left edge cut their comeback short.

Counties hold on 26-22 in a top of the table thriller.