Tur­bos mow down North Har­bour

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT - RICHARD MAYS

The blades are back on the Manawatu ma­chine. The Tur­bos, scut­tled last week by the South­land Stags, knocked off North Har­bour on Satur­day evening at Arena with a bonus point, four try to two vic­tory.

On at­tack from the start, Manawatu sought to re­verse the ‘slow-start syn­drome’ that has plagued their ITM sea­son. The re­sult, af­ter 10 min­utes, a North Har­bour penalty.

Har­bour im­pressed with their set piece for­ward play in the scrums, mauls and li­ne­outs, go­ing on to score the first try. Manawatu left it to just be­fore half­time be­fore a se­ries of classy back­line off- loads put Fraser Stone over. At 10-7 it was any­one’s game. North Har­bour made it look easy slic­ing throught the Tur­bos back­line to score first.

And then came the bust of the sea­son. Tur­bos winger Nathan Tu­dreu made like an in­door bowl­ing ball at the strike end to set up cap­tain Cal­lum Gib­bins.

Six min­utes later, brother New­ton on the other wing gath­ered a beau­ti­fully weighted cross kick from Otere Black to put the Tur­bos in front. Soon af­ter, Otere kicked his first suc­cess­ful penalty of the sea­son!

24 -17 re­mained the score in a hel­ter skel­ter last stanza. De­spite Har­bour los­ing a man to the bin and mount­ing a rear­guard ac­tion to close the gap, res­o­lute de­fence held them out. Manawatu had a try dis­al­lowed when it was ruled cen­tre Jason Emery had a foot in touch be­fore pass­ing the ball. Then 30 sec­onds from full-time, the Tur­bos cap­tain crossed again to make it 31 -17.

Manawatu need to main­tain the mo­men­tum, skill level and de­fen­sive ef­fort for the last home game next Satur­day against Taranaki. Last year’s Premier­ship champs, fresh from squeez­ing past Can­ter­bury at the week­end, are mid­way on the ta­ble with four wins – nine points ahead of Manawatu who are at the bot­tom. There’s ev­ery­thing to play for. Arena kick off is 5.35pm.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Tur­bos cap­tain Cal­lum Gib­bons in his club socks, storms through the North Har­bour de­fence dur­ing his side’s 31 -17 vic­tory on Satur­day night.

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