Manawatu stun Waikato in Hamilton

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Saturday, September 16, 2017    Getty Images

Manawatu came to Hamilton to take the game to Waikato with an ambitious running game but simply couldn’t finish their opportunities in the first half as the home side clung onto a 5-3 lead at the break.


Waikato’s try came after just three minutes when powerful centre Pita Ahki finished off a sweeping attacking movement. But that was to be the only five-pointer of a scrappy first half as Manawatu were guilty of pushing one pass too many.

The visitors finally got on the board in the 38th minute when first five-eighth Jade Te Rure slotted a long range penalty. It seemed like a relief for the Turbos to get on the board after dominating territory and possession in the first half.

The second half started just like the first – with a quick try to Waikato. While their first try was scored on the back of a sweeping back movement, this was all about grunt work from the pack. Replacement front-rower Samisoni Taukei’aho was the beneficiary when he barged over to make it 10-3 to the Mooloos.

Manawatu made a host of changes in the second half and the replacements proved to be the difference as the Turbos took complete control in the final quarter.

Replacement halfback Jamie Booth injected great urgency and squared the scores when he deceived the Waikato defence with a subtle dummy to go over under the posts.

With renewed confidence, the Turbos swung onto attack and earned a five metre scrum. In the defining moment of the game, the Manawatu scrum completely decimated the Waikato pack as No.8 Harrison Brewer scored from the back of the scrum to make it 17-10.

The visitors were clinical in the final ten minutes, starving Waikato of possession and landing two Te Rure penalties to secure the classy 23-10 win.

The victory means that Manawatu leap into Championship top four. Waikato stay fourth in the Premiership but have Tasman and Auckland both nipping at their heels.

Waikato 10 (Pita Ahki, Samisoni Taukei’aho tries) Manawatu 23 (Jamie Booth, Harrison Brewer tries, Jade Te Rure 3 pen, 2 con)
HT: 5-3