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Canterbury sees off committed Turbos

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Thursday, September 6, 2018    Campbell Burnes    Getty Images

The defending Premiership champs now have 23 wins from their last 24 home games, but had to weather some fierce Manawatu resistance from a Turbos outfit that clearly did some soul searching after leaking points heavily in their last two outings.

Led by captain Antonio Kirikiri, the Turbos flew into rucks and gave their opponents the hard point of their shoulder in the tackle. There was niggle in the packs too to add some spice.

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And yet Canterbury scored twice in the first spell from the trusted method of the rolling maul, the first to blindside flanker Reed Prinsep and then to hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, who seems to have rejuvenated his career since his shift from Auckland. One offload, in particular, to Mitch Dunshea was beautiful to behold.

The visitors were leaning heavily on the trusty boot of No 10 Sam Malcolm, so they welcomed some smart play by No 6 Liam Mitchell, who scored on the base of the goalpost after Rob Thompson had made another foray through the middle of the Canterbury defence.
But one just got the feeling that Canterbury would up the ante in the second spell. So it came to pass. Wing Caleb Makene saw the home team into the lead after just four minutes, and first five Brett Cameron, tidy with 14 points and player of the match, sliced through from 45m with a solo try.

By now, Luke Romano was on for Canterbury, bruising in defence and scoring another try to continue his marvellous Mitre 10 Cup form.

Manawatu, conversely, was again struggling at lineout time and in gaining some attacking flow, but the Turbos did finish with a flourish via try to Lifeimi Mafi. Try as they might, however, they could not secure a bonus point, but they regained pride in the jersey after two mediocre second spell displays.

Canterbury’s next outing is on Wednesday night against North Harbour in Albany, while Manawatu travels to Northland on Friday week.

Duane Monkley Medal points:
3: Brett Cameron (Canterbury)
2: Greg Pleasants-Tate (Canterbury)
1: Michael Alaalatoa (Manawatu)

Scorers
Canterbury 34
(Reed Prinsep, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Caleb Makene, Brett Cameron, Luke Romano tries; Cameron 3 con, pen) Manawatu 23 (Liam Mitchell, Lifeimi Mafi tries; Sam Malcolm 2 con, 3 pen) HT: 13-12 Manawatu