Cy­clones lose half­back in loss to Can­ter­bury

Manawatu Standard - - SPORT - GE­ORGE HEAGNEY

The Manawatu¯ Cy­clones’ heavy 40-10 loss to Can­ter­bury in the Farah Palmer Cup was fur­ther soured with an in­jury to ex­pe­ri­enced half­back Kristina Sue.

The Cy­clones had rated them­selves a chance to beat Can­ter­bury, but the red and blacks were a level above in their pro­vin­cial game in Christchurch on Satur­day.

Manawatu¯ ’s game plan was af­fected when Sue, who was play­ing her 50th game, in­jured the AC lig­a­ment in her shoul­der inside 10 min­utes and had to go off.

Cy­clones coach Fusi Feau­nati said they will have to wait and see the di­ag­no­sis to know whether she is out for the sea­son or only a few weeks.

Can­ter­bury had lost 41-12 to Auck­land last week, so were mo­ti­vated to per­form against

Manawatu¯ , who beat Welling­ton 35-27 in their first game last week.

‘‘They came out pretty hard with their ball move­ment,’’ Feau­nati said. ‘‘They were ob­vi­ously hurt­ing a bit from the week­end be­fore and did a lot of work.

‘‘They did some home­work on us as well. They knew they had to get up early and shut us down be­cause we had the abil­ity to go off two or three phases.

‘‘They didn’t want it to go any fur­ther than that.’’

He said they didn’t play par­tic­u­larly badly, it was just that Can­ter­bury played well and de­fended strongly.

Can­ter­bury had a strong wind be­hind them in the first half, but it died down when Manawatu¯ had it at their backs.

‘‘The girls got bet­ter in the sec­ond half. Un­for­tu­nately we were chas­ing the game.’’

Feau­nati said they need to work on their line speed and work at the break­down be­fore play­ing Waikato at the Arena on Fri­day.

With Sue off, first five-eighth Lizzie Goulden shifted to half­back and full­back Sel­ica Wini­ata played No 10, but in the sec­ond spell re­serve Cor­rineke Win­dle went to half­back, al­low­ing Goulden and Wini­ata to re­turn to their usual po­si­tions. Win­dle is likely to start at half­back next week.

There were a cou­ple of other in­juries to lock Stacey Loye (con­cus­sion), hooker Aroha Nuku (an­kle) and Jayme Nuku (calf). All are likely to be out next week.

Wini­ata was her classy self and flanker Ni­cole Dick­ins was a work­horse.

In the other games, Otago beat Napier 39-17 in Napier, Coun­ties Manukau beat Auck­land 36-12 in Paku­ranga, Welling­ton beat Waikato 11-5 in Hamil­ton and Bay of Plenty beat North Har­bour 34-12 in Ro­torua.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Manawatu¯ Cy­clones hooker Aroha Nuku makes a break against Can­ter­bury dur­ing their Farah Palmer Cup match in Christchurch.

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