Manawatu ended their Air New Zealand Cup campaign in positive fashion after thrashing North Harbour 42-16 in Palmerston North on Saturday, this after the visitors led 16-8 at half-time.
The Turbos guaranteed a first ever win over North Harbour in front of their home fans, with winger Andre Taylor contributing 27 points with two tries, four conversions, two penalties and a drop goal.
Manawatu got off to a perfect start when captain Nick Crosswell took advantage of some useful turnover ball at the breakdown, and Taylor latched onto a pass to beat the cover defence and score in the corner.
But when North Harbour pivot Mike Harris was successful with his second penalty of the match, his team hit the front soon after.Then discarded All Black Rudi Wulf extended the visitors lead with a well-taken try when he found himself in space, and his pace shattered Manawatu's defence.
A 55m Harris penalty gave Harbour a comfortable lead as halftime neared, and although Taylor closed the gap for Manawatu with another penalty, the visitors went into the break 16-8 ahead.
Manawatu bounced back from early disappointment in the second half, when tries to hooker Rob Foreman and centre Johnny Leota got the Turbos fans cheering again.
Ahead 25-16 with 10 minutes to go, Manawatu kicked up another level following a long-range Taylor drop goal and more tries to centre Tomasi Cama and - inevitably - Taylor secured the home side the win.
Tries: Taylor 2, Foreman, Leota, Cama tries
Cons: Taylor 4
Pens: Taylor 2
For North Harbour:
Pens: Harris 3
Manawatu: 15 Casey Stone, 14 Andre Taylor, 13 Tomasi Cama, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Aaron James, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Brent Thompson, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Nick Crosswell (captain), 5 James Goode, 4 Reece Robinson, 3 David Te Moana, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Grant Polson.
Replacements: 16 Sean O'Connor/ Bryn Templeman, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Mike Fitzgerald, 19 Hamish Gosling/Doug Tietjens, 20 Isaac Thompson, 21 Tevita Taufui, 22 Lote Raikabula
North Harbour: 15 Jack McPhee, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Andrew Mailei, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Viliame Ma'afu, 7 Scott Uren, 6 Tom Chamberlain, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James King, 3 Mike Reid (c), 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 James Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Joe Royal, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Adrian Smith, 19 Chris Smith, 20 Nalu Tuigamala, 21Ben Botica, 22 Nafi Tuitavake.