Mustangs keep the Sharks at bay 30-26
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.