Tur­bos trounce the Tani­wha

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Vic­tory at last! The Tur­bos dealt the North­land Tani­wha a six-try-to-two thump­ing at the Oval on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Bot­tom of the Premier­ship ta­ble, Manawatu des­per­ately needed a win af­ter five straight losses, to re­store cred­i­bil­ity and self-belief.

At the wrong end of the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble, and with no points, North­land may have sensed that Manawatu com­ing off a heavy sched­ule of games against Can­ter­bury and Auck­land, was ripe for the pluck­ing. Not­ing Manawatu’s pen­chant for poor starts, the Tani­wha at­tacked from the kick-off, and scrapped for ball through­out to be re­warded with a try in each half.

How­ever, it was the Tur­bos who scored first. Af­ter turn­ing down a penalty shot, full­back Semisi Masirewa fin­ished the move­ment with the first try. That was fol­lowed by a ter­rific chase to the dead-ball line won by wing Nathan Tu­dreu, and a classy pick-and-go try to Hei­den Bed­well-Curtis.

Manawau then found them­selves in the un­fa­mil­iar po­si­tion of lead­ing 21-7 at the break.

Manawatu’s big winger was in again soon af­ter bat­tle recom­menced, and played a hand in the try to prop Michael Alaala­toa. Lock Valentino Ma­pa­palangi then crossed for the sixth. First-five Otere Black con­verted five of these tries seem­ingly at will from all over the park, with re­place­ment Sam Mal­colm slot­ting the last.

Show­ing more of the ur­gency dis­played dur­ing the sec­ond half of the 45-28 loss to Auck­land mid-week, Sun­day’s game was a huge im­prove­ment in ef­fort, and showed off a team with huge at­tack­ing po­ten­tial.

It wasn’t per­fect; the Tur­bos mess­ing up two or three fur­ther try-scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Over-ea­ger­ness and han­dling er­rors let play­ers down at vi­tal mo­ments, while one of the team’s de­fen­sive lapses gifted North­land its sec­ond try.

Sun­day’s bonus point win bumps Manawatu tem­po­rar­ily off the bot­tom of the Premier­ship ta­ble, one point ahead of Coun­ties-Manukau who lost to North Har­bour at the week­end

Manawatu’s next two matches are must-wins against Cham­pi­onship sides – fifth-placed South­land at In­ver­cargill this Satur­day, with the next home game in the evening against fourth-placed North Har­bour the fol­low­ing Satur­day 26.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Man of the Match Semisi Masirewa jinks his way through a cou­ple of Tani­wha de­fend­ers dur­ing Sun­day’s ITM Cup game at the Oval.

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