Championship outfit Bay of Plenty and premiership strugglers Counties Manukau have fought out an entertaining 31-31 draw in an NPC cross-over match in Tauranga.

Bay of Plenty dominated territory and possession early on, but it took a charge down from halfback Richard Judd to put them on the board.

Loosehead prop Solomona Sakalia was in the right place at the right time to secure the skewed ball and fall over for the try.

Bay of Plenty added a second in the 23rd minute through Terrence Hepetema, but Bay of Plenty's 14-0 lead was reduced to seven soon after when Counties flanker Fotu Lokotui dived over from close range.


Co-captain Augustine Pulu's 34th minute try from the base of the ruck levelled the scores, and it took a late Delany penalty for Bay of Plenty to take a 17-14 lead into half-time.

The lead lasted barely 10 minutes from the restart, Counties finding space down the right for Albert Nikoro to dot down after just 60 seconds.

The pacy winger featured seven minutes later, keeping play alive as the visitors attacked down the right and Ah Wong scored out wide for a 24-19 Counties lead.

The seesaw match continued, Lalakai Foketi sidestepping his way through to score in the 55th minute and Jesse Parete bulldozing over from close range to give the Bay a 31-24 lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Quick passing created space for Liam Daniela to cross after 75 minutes, Luteru Laulala's conversion levelling the scores and setting up an action-packed final five minutes.