Coach says green beaten by better team

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 10/09/2012

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Few saw the Turbos' win over Northland coming and few saw the heavy 24-point defeat by Tasman coming either.

But none of the Turbos had any qualms about being beaten by a better side yesterday.

The Makos beat them physically to take all five points on offer.

Manawatu coach Jason O'Halloran conceded Tasman did it well.

"They used the elements well in the second half. They had a very simple plan in the first half to play around the corner."

A win at North Harbour on Thursday is a must now and O'Halloran will want the fittest of the battered bodies back on the track at Albany. Last season, the Turbos benefited from short spells between games but yesterday's loss to Tasman didn't bear that out.

"We looked pretty tired from the word go," O'Halloran said. "We put a fair bit into that Northland effort.

"When you're in that sort of shape physically, you just have to stay in the game.

"When you leak soft points early through missed tackles, it hurts you and your psyche a little bit."

O'Halloran was disappointed at the lack of ambition the team showed against Tasman. Instead, this time the Turbos reverted to countless pick-and-go driving play.

He is happy with the depth in most positions, except among the loose forwards with both No 8s injured.

Manawatu skipper Nick Crosswell was disappointed accuracy and mistakes let them down yesterday.

"I think the boys were up for it and in terms of the forward pack we get through a pile of work and that can really take it out of you."

He said lapses on defence slipped back in from the Northland game.

"If you let in a try, you've got to score twice to catch up."

He would prefer not to have to chase teams too often.

"Tasman are obviously a team that has pulled together well, a lot of guys who want to work for each other. They wanted it more than us today."

A halfback from Tasman, Kaide Whiting, has been brought in by Manawatu as a loan player to bolster their No 9 ranks.

He was signed before the transfer deadline at the weekend, and is a former New Zealand under-20s triallist. He played for Tasman in 2010, was injured and then had a season overseas.

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