Tuiloma hat-trick inspires Counties Manukau win


A first-half hat-trick from Kalolo Tuiloma helped Counties Manukau to a 35-26 bonus-point victory over Waikato, sending them top of the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership.

Prop Tuiloma touched down three times in the space of 15 minutes as the hosts opened up a comfortable lead which they did not relinquish.

For his first, Tuiloma charged between the posts inside the second minute, doubling his tally soon after by spotting a gap and forcing himself across in the corner.

The treble - the first by a prop in the competition since 1984 - was completed in the 17th minute, with Piers Francis kicking his second successful conversion to give Counties Manukau a 19-0 advantage.

Iliesa Ratuva dabbed down for Waikato but a Francis penalty before half-time was followed by scores from hooker Gafa Su'a and Sione Fifita after the restart.

Steven Misa and Jason Robertson closed the gap for Waikato but there was not enough time to complete the comeback.