Otago edged late in thriller

Counties-Manukau's Esau Filimoehala celebrates his team's victory over Otago. Photo Getty Images
Counties-Manukau's Esau Filimoehala celebrates his team's victory over Otago. Photo Getty Images
Otago have been beaten by Counties-Manukau in a last-gasp thriller in their opening NPC match in Pukekohe today.

After trailing 7-10 at the break, Otago opened up a 22-13 lead going into the final 10 minutes, but the home team scored a try, then added two from the conversion attempt which went in off the post to leave it 22-20 with only minutes to play.

Counties then nabbed an intercept while Otago were on attack and piled on the pressure beyond the final whistle, keeping hold of the ball through multiple phases before slotting a drop goal to break Otago hearts and seal the match 23-22.

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