Turbos win again
Manawatu made hard work of winning their second rugby match of the season by 27-17 over Southland at Palmerston North tonight.
They might have scored three tries to two but it was the home team's defence which finally saw the Turbos prevail, in only their second win over Southland since 2006.
Southland hammered the Turbos line in the last quarter and would have got over had fullback Robbie Robinson not spilled the ball with the line open five minutes from time.
Southland had to rely on their forwards rumbles but lacked the cutting edge in the backs where Turbos second-five Tevita Taufu'i was massive in defence and even over the ball.
Manawatu led 17-7 at the break and capitalised soon after when lock Fraser Stone threw a big arm over the line and it was 24-10. But the rest of the second half wasn't pretty and it was no surprise when Southland flanker Tim Boys shot over for try No 2 in the 55th minute.
Southland came into this one without frontline props Jamie Mackintosh (suspended) and Tuki Raimona (injured).
But they played with plenty of spirit with Manawatu losing lineouts and players trooping off injured. Southland wing Bryan Milne was a handful early in the match.
Southland drew first blood through their prime weapon, the lineout maul when flanker John Hardie was propelled across in a mass of bodies after only eight minutes.
It went some way to silence the home crowd, but their team was full of running and slick passing.
It paid off only five minutes later when their Highlanders centre Jason Emery burst over following a break by NZ under-20 first five-eighth Jade Te Rure past hooker David Hall.
Manawatu had a surfeit of possession and their hot hands were a handful for the Southland defence.
But a Southland attack was snuffed out by a spot tackle from Manawatu wing Nehe Milner-Skudder and 80 metres upfield halfback Papa Wharewera shot over on the half hour after flanker Callum Gibbins had almost got over.
Scorers: Manawatu 27 (Jason Emery, Papa Wharewera, Fraser Stone, tries; Jade Te Rure 3 con, 2 pen) Southland 17 (John Hardie, Tim Boys, tries; Marty McKenzie con, pen; Scorr Eade con) HT 17-7.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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