Blade­less Tur­bos fall to Stags’ mighty scythe

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT - RICHARD MAYS

D is for dis­mal, di­a­bol­i­cal and de­mol­ished. An eight-try scor­ing spree Satur­day’s game against South­land game may have been, but only two were scored by Manawatu.

The Tur­bos had left their blades on the plane at In­ver­cargill air­port and were chopped apart by the ram­pant South­land Stags at Rugby Park.

The Tur­bos’ rep­u­ta­tion for slow starts and woe­ful tack­ling was ex­ploited by South­land which kept Manawatu un­der the pump for the first 20 min­utes, scor­ing two tries. Mat­ters weren’t helped by the loss of Tur­bos full­back Semisi Masirewa with a sea­son-end­ing dou­ble frac­tured leg in the first seven min­utes.

The only first-half glim­mer for Manawatu was a 50-me­tre in­ter­cept to Hei­den Bed­wellCur­tis, with a sec­ond half con­so­la­tion to Rob Fore­man.

The hosts were up 22-7 at the half, com­plet­ing the rout 49-14.

Next Satur­day, Septem­ber 26 is re­al­is­ti­cally Manawatu’s only re­main­ing chance to post another win in the ITM Cup. It’s a home game against lan­guish­ing Cham­pi­onship side North Har­bour, only beaten 17 - 10 by Can­ter­bury on Sun­day.

Given cur­rent form, the Tur­bos won’t stand a dog’s show in its last two away games against Premier­ship side Taranaki on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 3, and Cham­pi­onship side Welling­ton in the fi­nal round.

Satur­day’s kick-off at the Oval against North Har­bour is at 7.35pm.

It’s also the last op­por­tu­nity for Manawatu schools to take part in the ITM Cup ‘We Love It Here’ com­pe­ti­tion. With a grand prize of a $10,000 work­ing bee for the best school in ev­ery province, stick­ers have been given out to kids at Tur­bos home games to put on their ITM supplied school sticker chart.

The com­pe­ti­tion closes next Tues­day Septem­ber 29 when par­tic­i­pat­ing schools have to send their com­pleted sticker charts into Manawatu Rugby. With one last sticker-col­lect­ing game to go, the lead­ing con­tender for the $10,000 prize is Mount Biggs Pri­mary School.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

Un­wanted All Black and South­land steam­roller Lima Sopoaga on the way to scor­ing his try against the hap­less Tur­bos in In­ver­cargill.

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