Taranaki overcome spirited Manawatu

Date published: September 24 2016

Taranaki were able to withstand terrible weather and plucky Manawatu to get a 30-19 bonus-point win at Yarrow Stadium on Saturday night.

Manawatu held the lead going into the break despite the home side scoring a brace of tries, as the visitors got ahead through the trusty boot of fly-half Otere Black and a five-pointer from Ambrose Curtis.

The game resembled a ping pong match as the terrible weather forced both teams to play a kick and chase orientated strategy. 

Taranaki now shift into second place with their win and jump above Counties Manukau on points difference while Manawatu still hold the third spot on the table.

The Turbos drew first blood when fly-half Otere Black kicked over a penalty in the first two minutes of the game. But their lead was short-lived after Taranaki prop Reuben O’Neill ended a strong surging move from his side.

Taranaki compounded their lead after Kylem O'Donnell scored his side's second try of the game. Hayden Bedwell-Curtis was pinged at the breakdown for trying to steal the ball and Taranaki used the opportunity well as they went for line and created a line-out drive that saw O'Donnell wrap around on the blindside and touch down.

The Turbos weren't done yet as Ambrose Curtis scored close to the half-time whistle to get his back in the lead with the a help of a penalty from Black.

However the game was won by the home side after line-out drive led to a Rhys Marshall try that sealed the win for his team.

The scorers:

For Taranaki:
Tries: O'Neill, O'Donnell, Vaeno, Marshall 
Cons: McKenzie 2
Pens: McKenzie 2

For Manawatu:
Try: Curtis
Con: Black
Pens: Black 4

Taranaki: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Declan O’Donnell, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Latu Vaeno, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Kylem O’Donnell, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Berny Hall (c), 6 Iopu Iopu-Aso, 5 Leighton Price, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Reuben O’Neill, 2 Sione Lea, 1 Mitchell Graham
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 Asaeli Sorovaki, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Cody Whittaker, 22 Jackson Ormond, 23 Manasa Mataele

Manawatu: 15 Jason Emery, 14 Ambrose Curtis, 13 Curtis Reid, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 10 Otere Black, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Callum Gibbins (c), 6 Harrison Brewer, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 4 Tom Parsons, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Travis Taylor, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Replacements: 16 Tim Cadwallader, 17 Tukiterangi Raimona, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Liam Hallam-Eames, 20 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Sam Malcolm, 23 Luther Hirini