Manawatu magic at end downs Northland

Last updated 20:07 17/08/2014
Antonio Kiri Kiri
Fairfax NZ
TOUCHING DOWN: Antonio Kiri Kiri scored a try for Manawatu.

Relevant offers


Interview process to start for 2016 Stags NPC assistant coaches Makos' stint highlight of coach Keane's career ... so far Southland halfback Liam Howley ready to learn from the Highlanders Sanzar still 'nervous' about Japan's entry into Super Rugby for 2016 Mitchell Drummond enjoying some down time back in Nelson South Canterbury props picked to start for Heartland side Michelle Martin first woman appointed to South Canterbury Rugby Union board Wellington Rugby satisfied with second place in NPC championship Wanganui captain should have been red carded in Meads Cup final Core of Tasman Makos squad retained for 2016 NPC rugby campaign

It wasn't pretty but the Manawatu Turbos opened their season with a 28-23 win over Northland in Whangarei today.

Down 23-14 with 10 minutes left, Manawatu looked as if they had run out of steam, but two tries in the last nine minutes gave them their fourth National Provincial Championship win in a row over the Taniwha.

Manawatu's defence was shaky at times, especially out wide, where big Northland winger Jone Macilai was one man the Turbos couldn't put down.

With four minutes left, Northland were awarded two penalties, kicking to the corner to try and score, but twice hooker Jordan Olsen overthrew his jumpers and Manawatu snaffled the ball.

Northland's backs made breaks, but their turnover rate was too high, conceding 28 turnovers, while the crucial stat for Manawatu was their 24 missed tackles.

Northland looked to have the game won when halfback Sonatane Takalua dived over for a soft try from a ruck to put them up by nine but Manawatu got down the other end of the field and second five-eighth Hamish Northcott was put in a hole by No 10 Jade Te Rure to score. Turbos captain Callum Gibbins then scored the matchwinner, going off the back of a rolling maul untouched.

In the first half, Te Rure and his Northland counterpart Dan Hawkins traded penalties inside the first quarter hour, before Hawkins was sin binned for a deliberate knock down in the 24th minute.

He slapped it down when it looked as if could have caught the ball and would have scored under the sticks untouched.

However, Manawatu couldn't capitalise with the extra man. Te Rure slotted the penalty, but Mathew Wright answered straight back to save Hawkins any embarrassment.

They traded penalties again, then Manawatu No 8 Antonio Kiri Kiri gassed through a hole to score and give them a 14-9 lead.

Northland scored back-to-back tries through Takalua and winger Filipo Nakosi, who was on the end of a great counter attack from fullback Wright, before Manawatu finished things off.

The Turbos kept kicking down the throats of Wright and Macilai, who broke tackles just about every time. The impact of lock Fraser Stone and prop Chris Eves off the bench was huge for Manawatu, while Northland flanker Jack Ram had a big game with his runs out wide and work at the breakdown.

Manawatu 28 (Antonio Kiri Kiri, Hamish Northcott, Callum Gibbins, tries; Jade Te Rure 3 pen, 2 con) Northland 23 (Sonatane Takalua, Filipo Nakosi, tries; Dan Hawkins 2 pen, 2 con, Mathew Wright pen) HT: 9-6.

Ad Feedback

- Manawatu Standard

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of this year's ITM Cup?

It was as good a season as I can remember.

It was great to see the smaller provinces perform well.

I caught the odd game here and there.

Sorry, it was an utter snore-fest.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content