Four tries in the second half have carried Counties Manukau to a relieving 31-14 NPC win over Hawke's Bay in Pukekohe.

Both teams came into the cross-over fixture with identical records, having won their opening fixtures before suffering four losses.

Counties Manukau's 78-5 humbling at the hands of Cantebury in a midweek Ranfurly Shield challenge left them staring at a relegation fight.

However, Sunday's efforts in the second half suggest they can avoid the drop to the Championship division.


A team featuring nine changes came alive in the second spell after a Tim Nanai- Williams try left the scores locked 7-7 at the break.

Samoan international Nanai-Williams featured in many of their better attacks, snaring a brace and joining Foti Lokotui, Johnny Kawau and Kalolo Tuiloma as second-half tryscorers.

Hawke's Bay had the final say in both halves, with tries to Ash Dixon and Pasqualle Dunn.

However, their injury-laden side will need to reduce their error count considerably if they are to stop the rot and reach the Championship division semi-finals.

They only sit ahead of winless Southland heading into four successive matches against Premiership opposition.