Turbos walking a tightrope to semifinals

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:24 12/10/2012

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The Turbos might have left their run until late but they are one of six of the seven Championship teams in pursuit of a top-four playoff spot.

The semifinals were brought in only this year. Last season the top two, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay, went straight to a final.

Now there's a chance Manawatu could win three games in a row and even hurtle into the Premiership for next season.

A win to either Manawatu or Southland tonight will put the heat on fourth-placed Northland.

The Taniwha must beat Counties Manukau at Whangarei at 2.35pm tomorrow.

Counties need only one point to secure the No 1 position, but with players out injured they have developed speed wobbles after losing their past three games, away to Auckland and at home to Waikato and Tasman.

Counties' last win was over Manawatu, and they had to battle to do that.

Should the Turbos win at Invercargill with a bonus point, they could end up tied with Northland on 20 points. Manawatu would go through as the winner of their round-robin match.

Tasman can still claim the top qualifying spot if they get a maximum haul against North Harbour at Nelson tomorrow night and Counties bomb out at Whangarei.

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- Manawatu Standard

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