Turbos' success creating winners and losers

Last updated 12:00 08/08/2011

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Before the high-flying Manawatu Turbos began their rugby season, we did not allow in our Manawatu Standard budget for coverage of the championship final.

OPINION: Like most, we were oblivious to the fact that the top two teams would play off for promotion on Friday, September 2, or that the Turbos might be there.

Yet if they keep up this winning habit, they have a grand chance of being there, even if they must play three of their final four games away from home. Away loom Wellington, Otago and Tasman and the final home game is against Waikato on Saturday, August 20.

While winning, they are still perceived to be underdogs in every match. It's just a pity their home games have coincided with cold nights and, as on Saturday, a rogue westerly. They need the crowds both for financial reasons and because it lifts the players.

In the TAB live betting on Saturday, when Taranaki hit the front, Manawatu went out to $4.25 so a Feilding punter promptly put on $5, and profited.

Judging by the windy weekend in Palmerston North, it's no surprise our sports teams have chosen weather-related nicknames.

The Palmerston North women's basketballers are known as the Storm. In rugby, there's the Turbos. Now their female counterparts have decided to call themselves the Cyclones.

Coach Justin Doolan said he suggested the Turbettes, but when he put it to the players, he was nearly thrown to the ground and rucked. It was probably way too petite for rugby types.

With the Club Palmerston dispute edging closer to a court date, a few worried members from across all three clubs there want answers from their presidents.

But a couple of the presidents seemed, once again, keen to hide behind their alternative spokesmen when the Manawatu Standard called, wondering if they would front at a proposed public meeting.

If the presidents of bowls, squash and the Cosmopolitan Club can't put their heads together and thrash something out, there will be no winners if the courts decide the outcome. The sports clubs on one side and the Cossie on the other have both filed multimillion-dollar claims which would cripple whoever loses.

As you read this, Palmerston North and former All Whites footballer Steven Old is training in the warmer climes of South Africa.

He flew out a week ago after a call from the Perth Glory A-League club side for two weeks of pre-season training and camps. He had been home after finishing with Scottish Premier League club, Kilmarnock.

The Glory are looking for a couple of defenders to cover injured players and Old was keen to try for one of those spots. Star Kiwi striker Shane Smeltz is on the books of the Perth side and we hope Old might find his niche there.

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Palmerston North motocross rider Adam Reeves has left to tackle the International Six Days Enduro in Finland.

The national cross country champion, Reeves will be part of the New Zealand Yamaha Club team later this week as the travelling reserve. The same four men competed in Mexico last season. The ISDE is the Olympic Games of enduro racing.

- Manawatu Standard

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