Tur­bos back on track

Manawatu Standard - - SPORT - GE­ORGE HEAGNEY

The Manawatu¯ Tur­bos’ 23-10 win over Waikato may be the adren­a­line shot their sea­son needed.

After poor per­for­mances against Otago and Bay of Plenty in their past two matches, the Tur­bos played some of their best rugby in the sec­ond half against Waikato in Hamil­ton on Satur­day, com­ing from 10-3 down to win.

The win, only Manawatu¯ ’s sev­enth over Waikato, moved them into fourth in the Cham­pi­onship with two wins and three losses.

Manawatu¯ coach Jeremy Cot­ter said the win gets them back on track.

‘‘We’re right back in the pic­ture eh,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s easy to get real pan­icky.

‘‘We’ve known we’ve come up against some strong teams and we’re not that far away. It’s been a bit of a lack of ex­e­cu­tion but to come away with the win was good to keep the be­lief.’’

In the wet and windy con­di­tions in the first half, Manawatu¯ strug­gled to build any phases de­spite a fair chunk of pos­ses­sion and were down 5-3 at half­time. Cot­ter said they were a bit ner­vous too and mak­ing mis­takes.

Waikato scored not long after half­time, but then it was all Manawatu¯ .

For­mer Tur­bos mid­fielder Te­vita Tau­fui had a hand in both of Waikato’s tries, with an off­load for the first and a line break for the sec­ond.

The Tur­bos for­wards got stuck in after half­time and dom­i­nated Waikato and their bull­doz­ing scrum would have warmed the cock­les of the heart of any tight for­ward, es­pe­cially when re­place­ment No 8 Har­ri­son Brewer scored a pushover try to make it 17-10.

Prop Fraser Arm­strong was the ba­sis of their pow­er­ful scrum as he shunted the Waikato pack back­wards and he got around the field on de­fence too.

De­spite a frus­trat­ing first half, Cot­ter was e pos­i­tive in the sheds at half­time. Once they hung onto the ball they were bet­ter.

‘‘That was pleas­ing. We cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties and it was just a mat­ter of hang­ing on to it.

‘‘We never wanted to go ino our shell and that’s what we said at half­time. The boys up front said we can re­ally make some in roads.

‘‘That’s not the road we wanted to go down. We wanted to move the ball and chal­lenge down the blind side.’’

This week the Tur­bos got real im­pact from their bench, par­tic­u­larly Brewer, wing Am­brose Cur­tis and half­back Jamie Booth.

Booth scored Manawatu¯ ’s first try when he threw a dummy and raced through a gap, and nearly scored an­other when he bur­rowed

over near the line, but was just short.

‘‘The for­wards rolled up their sleeves, de­moed their scrums and just men­tally got on top of them,’’ Booth said. ‘‘We just did what we’d been talk­ing about.’’

Booth said the for­wards were dom­i­nat­ing, mak­ing his job easy.

He also had a box seat for Brewer’s cru­cial pushover try. ‘‘Men­tally that breaks teams.’’ Booth said they re­ally needed the win and it gives them con­fi­dence for their next game on Fri­day, what will be a tough match against North­land.

Lock Tom Par­sons would have had to shout the beers on Satur­day after he bombed a cer­tain try in the sec­ond half.

Par­sons was on the end of the chain after an Am­brose Cur­tis chip kick 60m out and Par­sons would have scored an amaz­ing try, but he lost the ball as he was about to launch into his dive 5m out.

From the en­su­ing Waikato scrum Booth drove Waikato No 8 Jor­dan Mani­here back over the try­line, which kept the pres­sure on Waikato.

Reg­u­lar first five-eighth Otere Black was out sick, but Jade Te Rure had a good game fill­ing in, while lock Jack­son He­mopo had an­other qual­ity game and flanker An­to­nio Kiri Kiri was busy.

English­man Tom Crozier had a cameo off the bench, hav­ing joined the team this week on loan.

Zac Guild­ford was a threat on at­tack for Waikato but went off in the sec­ond half with a ham­string in­jury.

PHOTO: PHOTOSPORT

Manawatu¯ locks Jack­son He­mopo, centre, and Tom Par­sons toil­ing away in the en­gine room against the Waikato pack in Hamil­ton on Satur­day.

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