Tur­bos trip up Welling­ton

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT - RICHARD MAYS

Rel­e­gated from the ITM Premier­ship, but at least the Tur­bos gave de­part­ing coach Jason O’Hal­lo­ran a de­cent farewell present with a win over Welling­ton.

It’s not of­ten that Manawatu beats its much big­ger south­ern neigh­bour, so when the ‘Green-Goes’ scraped home 39 – 33, af­ter lead­ing 22 – 12 at half-time, there was plenty cause for cel­e­bra­tion.

And to do it with five tries on the op­po­si­tion patch in a game most pun­dits didn’t ex­pect them to win, must have been es­pe­cially sat­is­fy­ing. It was the siver lin­ing in the sea­son’s beige cloud and would have been a de­cent col­lect at the TAB with the Tur­bos pay­ing around $4.50.

Un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, the Tur­bos were the first to score with a try in the first minute to cap­tain Cal­lum Gib­bons. That was fol­lowed by two more first half tries to Hei­den Bed­well-Curtis, and to Toby Mor­land af­ter a bril­liant run from Am­brose Curtis.

Af­ter the break, Nathan Tu­dreu was next across the line while brother Nathan was the other try-scorer af­ter a fox­ing dou­ble-around from Otere Black, who also slot­ted four con­ver­sions and two penal­ties.

Mean­while, as the Tur­bos tired and the bench was cleared, Welling­ton were mak­ing up ground and looked to have scored po­ten­tially the win­ning try in the dy­ing sec­onds of the game, only to be de­nied by the TMO. Talk about a nail-biter!

De­spite the al­most in­her­ent de­fen­sive lapses, han­dling prob­lems and ball con­trol, the game has been rated the Tur­bos best out­ing of the year.

How­ever, de­spite the bonus point win, the re­sult still left Manawatu at the bot­tom of the Premier­ship lad­der with 19 points – two be­hind Waikato and five be­hind Coun­ties-Manukau.

That’s es­pe­cially an­noy­ing be­cause Waikato and Coun­ties-Manukau were two teams the Tur­bos should have put away ear­lier in the sea­son. Manawatu have them­selves to blame for a patchy Premier­ship that only of­fered sup­port­ers tan­ta­lis­ing glimpses of the team’s po­ten­tial.

If blame is to be shared, there is another cul­prit in the loss of Premier­ship sta­tus – north­ern neigh­bours, Hawkes Bay.

All the Mag­pies had to do was hang on to the log o’ wood and it would have been Waikato cow­bells tolling in the rel­e­ga­tion zone.


Tur­bos cen­tre Jason Emery (left) cel­e­brates Nathan Tu­dreu’s try against Welling­ton at the Cake­tine on Satur­day.

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