A tense finish nearly saw the Northland Kauri pull off a stunning comeback to draw with Auckland in their Farah Palmer Cup clash today.
Despite falling to the Storm 29-22 Northland brought the game to the wire, almost capitalising on a chance to level the score in the dying minutes with a scrum just meters from the Auckland line.
The last minute sin binning of Princess Elliot for a shoulder charge on also put Auckland's win in jeopardy however the Storm held on.
Playing at home, Northland boasted the presence of Sevens and Black Ferns star, Portia Woodman, returning to competitive rugby last week after battling a series of injury setbacks.
Woodman's class was evident from the opening whistle executing a number of threatening carries and a having a hand in many of Northland's scoring attempts.
Her efforts were in vain however as several Auckland players made solid performances with Patricia Maliepo's precision with the boot and Theresa Fitzpatrick's two tries proving the difference.