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Lively Manawatu stun Tasman

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Sunday, August 27, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Having being run down by a powerful Wellington unit in their opening fixture, the Turbos were not in the mood to give up a lead for a second game running.

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While neither side would be searching for positive adjectives to describe the quality of this contest, a win is a win and for Championship side Manawatu the post-match nectar will taste pretty sweet having taken competition points off their Premiership opponents.

The first half stats reflected the lack of fluidity, with both sides battling to string six phases together as dropped ball and poor discipline put paid to their attacking plans.

Tasman opened the scoring with a penalty, but that was all they had to show for the first 40 where they were willing but inaccurate. The Turbos weren't quite as wasteful on attack, turning down kickable points and being rewarded when Nick Crosswell burrowed over on the ruck fringe.

Kurt Baker then gave the crowd something to cheer about with a quality solo effort when he chipped and regathered to scoot to the corner. An Otere Black penalty saw the lead grow to 15 - 3 as the oranges were called for.

Soft defence from the Turbos opened the door for a Tasman resurgence as veteran lock Alex Ainley waltzed over under the crossbar shortly after the resumption. But the home side's response was immediate as Hunter Prescott benefited from a lineout drive to restore their lead.

Tasman added more points through a Mitch Hunt penalty before the Turbos butchered two clear chances. When Makos replacement hooker was binned for a late tackle his teammates rallied to score against the run of play and make it a 2-point match.

However the Turbos regrouped, slotted a couple of penalties including the second when Jordan Taufua got his side's second card for pulling down a lineout drive. His infrigement effectively ended the game, with Manawatu icing the game on the hooter to get the bonus point.