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Watch: Counties Manukau's new flying Fijian wing rips Manawatu for a double

By Sam Smith
(Source/Sky Sport NZ)

Counties Manukau have uncovered an exciting Fijian flyer, with winger Peniasi Malimali scorching the Manawatu Turbos with two tries in a 41-33 win.

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Malimali’s explosive running style is typical of former Fiji stars, with a strong one hand grip on the ball and speed that seemingly glides across the playing surface.

The Counties backline was on fire against the Turbos with Malimali, Auckland fullback Jared Page, former Northampton Saints winger Ahsee Tuala, and new midfield Nikolai Foliaki and AJ Alatimu starring.

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The young halves pair of Cam Roigard, who has Super Rugby experience with the Hurricanes, and first five Riley Hohepa were impressive in providing for the dangerous outside backs.

Roigard set up Malimali for his first try off a scrum play, the left wing disguised his line perfectly before exploding onto a short ball from the halfback that cut through the Turbos’ defence.

The left wing burst onto the ball and was too quick for all of the Turbos cover defenders, outgunning them all to launch himself over the line.

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His second try came from another set-piece play, this time with right wing Tuala linking up on the far side on the second phase to break the line after a deft pass from No 10 Hohepa.

Tuala provided for Malimali who turned on the afterburners to race away down the left hand touchline with the ball outstretched in one hand.

The Fijian wing stepped inside the final defender to extend Counties lead to 28-7 after the half hour mark in the first half.

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Fullback Jared Page extended the lead to 33-7 with a piece of luck, his grubber kick rebounded into his grasp with the defence perplexed as to where the ball was, allowing him to coast over out wide.

Despite a comeback from Manawatu, the Steelers sealed the game with a brilliant touch from Hohepa to tap the ball on to his halfback Roigard who was able to squeeze the ball down in the corner.

The Turbos were left winless after seven rounds as Counties registered their third win of the season.

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