Mus­tangs keep the Sharks at bay 30-26

Stratford Press - - Sports -

An un­der­manned Manawatu Mus­tangs man­aged to keep the Sharks at bay, after a 30-26 win over Taranaki in Oakura on Satur­day.

The win keeps the Mus­tangs alive in the NZRL Na­tional Cham­pi­onship, how­ever they now need the Sharks to pull off a mas­sive up­set by go­ing down to Welling­ton and beat­ing the Or­cas, who pre­vi­ously held off the Manawatu¯ side 28-26.

“It was a tough away game, short of num­bers this week, had a few guys pull out on the day with per­sonal com­mit­ments,” said coach Haze Reweti.

De­spite hav­ing treat­ment sched­uled for his rup­tured ACL, Reweti him­self came off the bench to make up the num­bers, pack­ing down at lock.

“Surgery next week, so I thought, ‘why not, what’s the worst that can hap­pen’?”

Manawatu would build up a points leads above six through­out the game, only to have the Sharks come back at them every time. They had to work their way out of their dan­ger zone with time nearly up, but lost the ball late in the tackle count.

From the scrum win the Sharks spread the ball wide im­me­di­ately, only for the key tackle to be made, and then the Mus­tangs’ de­fence held for two more tack­les to seal the win.

Hav­ing orig­i­nally been named on the bench, Whanganui Boxon’s Tau­tahi Rawiri started in the sec­ond row and scored a try while kick­ing five straight con­ver­sions.

“He was a big part of our game, made some tough car­ries.”

Fel­low Boxon play­ers in cen­tre Jor­dan Davis and full­back Emi­tai Lo­gadrau­drau also scored tries, as did Lin­ton-based stand­off Shadow Wirori and cen­tre Niko­lao Ioane.

While wait­ing to see if they stay alive in the Na­tional Cham­pi­onship, the Mus­tangs are look­ing to or­gan­ise a non­com­pe­ti­tion game with Coast­line, from Tau­ranga, on Septem­ber 8, though this is not con­firmed.

Young coach Haze Reweti, who has missed the sea­son with in­jury, came off the bench for his Manawatu Mus­tangs squad.

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