Tur­bos kick the bucket against Canty

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT - RICHARD MAYS

To lose to Can­ter­bury like we’ve never lost be­fore.

If that was a bucket-list wish for last Thurs­day’s ITM cup match at the Oval, then the Tur­bos failed. They failed to match the 72-7 drub­bing the Cantabs dished out on their home track in 2013, but only more by ‘luck’ than by de­sign.

Can­ter­bury botched at least a cou­ple of scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in their nine-try 57-7 romp against the hap­less green buck­e­teers.

Things looked omi­nous for the Tur­bos from the kick-off. Once again Manawatu al­lowed the op­po­si­tion to score within the fi­irst minute. Through­out the first half, the home team’s de­fence leaked like a colan­der al­low­ing the ram­pant Canty rams to rack up six touch­downs in the first half, scor­ing at just un­der a point a minute.

As the Can­ter­bury tries buck­eted down, the only con­so­la­tion was a pick and go to lock Fraser Stone con­verted by Otere Black to make the half-time score 38-7.

Manawatu’s sec­ond half de­fen­sive ef­fort did pre­vent Can­ter­bury from scor­ing dur­ing the first 20 min­utes, but cracked dur­ing the fi­nal stanza to al­low in three more unan­swered tries.

A promis­ing sec­ond-half run­away to Tur­bos wing Semisi Masirewa was called back when the touch judge un­ac­count­ably ruled he was out. Re­plays sug­gested oth­er­wise, but that was the ball game.

The Tur­bos next home en­counter is this Sun­day 13 against North­land, who are com­ing off a trounc­ing at the hands of Taranaki last Sun­day.

It’ll be a case of cel­lar dwellers vs wooden spoon­ers. Manawatu is at the bot­tom of the ITM Premier­ship with no wins and just three points, while North­land lan­guishes on the low­est rung of the Cham­pi­onship lad­der with sim­i­lar losses and no points.

Sun­day at 2.35pm will be the Tur­bos first game against a team from the lower tier of the com­pe­ti­tion, but first have to face Auck­land this Thurs­day night at Eden Park.

It’s a tough turn­around for the ‘Green-gos’ whereas the Cam­bridge Blues will have had a week off and must fancy their chances on Sun­day of pick­ing up a first com­pe­ti­tion win.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

Ques­tions over the Tur­bos de­fence and play­mak­ing abil­i­ties will be put to the test twice this week with games against Auck­land and North­land.

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