The Manawatu Development XV overcame a tough week for their first win of the season, beating Horowhenua-Kapiti 38-22 at Shannon on Saturday.
Having lost to Wairarapa-Bush last week and drawn with Wanganui on Wednesday, Manawatu coach Aaron Good was pleased to have won a game with his injury-struck side.
"We had a pretty destructive week with injuries, guys not being available and having to call guys in," he said.
"We lost Mike Baker on the morning of the game [illness] and lost Johnny Galloway in the warmup to a hamstring injury and it's not like we're flushed with loosies and locks at the moment.
"It's been a big week with three games in seven days. The energy levels were not quite there [on Saturday] like they were on Wednesday."
Manawatu made a few errors, but when they strung phases together they looked good and scored five tries against a big Horowhenua-Kapiti team, who mauled and worked it around the fringes of the ruck a lot.
Manawatu were up 17-10 at the break through tries to midfielders Brad Truesdale and Billy Raboiliku, but it was speedster Jordan Bunce who cut Horowhenua-Kapiti up in the second spell, scoring a hat-trick.
Manawatu fell of a few tackles and Horowhenua-Kapiti came back to trail just 24-22, but then Manawatu hung onto the ball more and Bunce went to work.
Manawatu's next game is against Hawke's Bay Saracens in Palmerston North next Saturday, one of three games against them this season, so they are putting a new trophy on the line for the games.
Manawatu should have more forwards available for Saturday, with lock Dan Law and flanker Doug Juszczyk expected back for the game, while lock Chris Long played his first game back against Horowhenua-Kapiti.
Manawatu Development XV 38 (Jordan Bunce 3, Brad Truesdale, Billy Raboiliku, tries; Clayton Stewart 3 con, Isaac Winter 2 con, pen) Horowhenua-Kapiti 22 HT: 17-10.
The Manawatu under-19 team won their first pre-season game of the year, beating the Horowhenua-Kapiti development team 38-17 in Levin on Saturday. Manawatu started and finished well against a bigger and older Horowhenua-Kapiti team, playing well even though the combinations aren't there yet.
Captain and hooker Travis Taylor led the team well and they also had good performances from prop Adam Jowse, flanker Cam Barr and first five-eighth Sam Malcolm.
The under-19s play a New Zealand army academy team on Wednesday night and Taranaki under-19 next Saturday, both at Arena Manawatu.
Their other pre-season game is against Manawatu Maori the week after, before they start seeding games for the national tournament.
The Manawatu Cyclones women's team won their pre-season match against Hawke's Bay 44-20 in Napier on Saturday. It was their final hitout before the Women's Provincial Competition starts next week and they had a standout performance from Krysten Duffill, playing her first game at first five-eighth.
In the Manawatu secondary schools finals, Wanganui City College upset Feilding High School 2nd XV to win the premier one final 17-15. Wanganui High School colts beat Rangitikei College 29-18 in the premier two final, Taihape Area School beat Wairarapa College 2nd XV 24-17 in the premier three final, Palmerston North Boys' High School colts beat Tu Toa 25-15 in the under-15 A final and Palmerston North Boys' High School Northampton beat Palmerston North Boys' High School Saracens 10-5 in the under-14 A final.
In the premier four final, Wanganui Collegiate School and Palmerston North Boys' High School Rebels drew 10-all, but Collegiate won because they outscored Boys' High two tries to one.
- Manawatu Standard