Taniwha blow away Turbos in Whangarei

Getty Images

Friday, September 14, 2018    Getty Images

Both teams came into this clash with just one win on the board in 2018 and desperate to lift themselves into the playoffs race. While the pressure was high on both teams, Manawatu had recent history on their side with seven straight wins over the Taniwha since 2010.


It looked like that winning streak was set to continue if the first five minutes were anything to go by. The Turbos recycled the ball perfectly and soaked up defenders in the middle of the park before centre Rob Thompson showed his danger with a break and offload to set up James Tofa for the opening try.

But aside from that and one other bright spark to speedster Junior Laloifi, that was to be it for the Turbos in the first half as the Taniwha brought their home crowd to their feet with a mix of hard running forward play and expansive ball movement to make it 34-12 at the break.

Manawatu needed to strike early in the second half if they were to claw their way back into the game and swung onto attack early in the half. Just as it looked like they were about to score, Northland fullback Matt Wright picked up a loose ball and passed to Kara Pryor who went 80 metres to score. It looked like Wright had knocked the ball on though, but the TMO couldn’t find enough evidence to overturn and the try stood to the dismay of the Turbos team who were still at half way.

It was a killer blow for Manawatu and at 41-12 down there was no coming back for the visitors.

Both teams traded tries to close out the game but it was Northland’s night as they closed out the bonus point 49-19 win.

The victory lifted Northland from fifth to third on the ladder while Manawatu are in sixth place and will need to string together some wins if they are to challenge for a playoffs position.

Duane Monkley Medal points:
3: Jonno Kitto
2: Jack Debreczeni
1: Jaycob Matiu


Northland 49 (Matt Matich, Jordan Olsen, Jordan Hyland, Scott Gregory, Kara Pryor, Blake Hohaia tries, Jack Debreczeni try, 4 con, 2pen) Manawatu 19 (James Tofa, Junior Laloifi, Adrian Wyrill tries, Sam Malcolm con, Otere Black con)
HT: 34-12