Tur­bos tum­bledby a de­ter­mined Taranaki

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT -

Think All Blacks vs Ge­or­gia. That 43 – 10 score­line was al­most repli­cated at the Oval on Satur­day when Taranaki tum­bled the Tur­bos 44 – 10, post­ing five con­verted tries in a com­pre­hen­sive bonus point win.

While Manawatu scored first with an Otere Black penalty, Taranaki’s well-oiled ma­chine soon had the Tur­bos go­ing back­wards and in all sorts of trou­ble.

Well struc­tured for­ward move­ments and a work­ing li­ne­out, cou­pled with backs adept at draw and pass, had Taranaki in for two con­verted tries af­ter 15 min­utes.

Starved of ball, when the odd play did go the Tur­bos way, han­dling er­rors stopped any break­outs cold.

The only other sign of prom­ise, a sweep­ing back­line move­ment fol­low­ing a rare li­ne­out win, re­sulted in the TMO rul­ing that a foot went into touch.

‘Al­most tries’ don’t win matches and Taranaki’s dom­i­nance and clin­i­cal fin­ish­ing showed their op­po­nents ex­actly how it’s done with a third try that left the Tur­bos 24 – 3 adrift at the break.

The Tur­bos came out fir­ing af­ter the half, and were re­warded with a try to Cal­lum Gib­bons. Any hopes though of a green and white resur­gence on the back of this ef­fort were snuffed out by a more ef­fi­cient out­fit that al­ways had the Tur­bos’ mea­sure. Taranaki were able to run in two more tries, while Manawatu botched its only other op­por­tu­nity.

The lo­cal cause wasn’t helped by lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion in de­fence and weak tack­ling.

Taranaki were able to move the ball from one side of the park to the other with rel­a­tive ease.

Their abil­ity to read the game and nul­lify any counter plays hardly ever let the Tur­bos out of sec­ond gear.

The re­sult means Manawatu re­main bot­tom of the Premier­ship di­vi­sion and in the last round of the com­pe­ti­tion, face sec­ond placed Cham­pi­onship side Welling­ton in the cap­i­tal next Satur­day.

Post­ing a 31 – 13 win over Bay of Plenty on Sun­day, Welling­ton will be ey­ing its chances of get­ting back into the ITM Cup’s top tier.

Welling­ton have beaten Taranaki, but stum­bled with losses to Tas­man and Otago and with a draw to Hawkes Bay.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Story of the ball game. Taranaki full-back Kurt Baker out­paces Tur­bos half­back Toby Mor­land to score Taranaki’s sec­ond try.

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