Turbos VS Waikato

CET Arena, Saturday, 18 August at 2:35 PM,
Score : 24-19,
to Turbos

The Match-Up

Two debutants and the selection of Nehe Milner-Skudder headline the Turbos side to take on Waikato in the first round of the Mitre 10 Cup. The match provides a great chance for the Turbos to get their campaign off to a winning start against the freshly relegated Waikato. 

Fullback Junior Laloifi and second five-eighth Rob Thompson will be playing their first games for the Turbos. There are also four Turbos debutants on the bench in Sam Stewart, Faalelei Sione, Brad Tucker and Sam Wasley.

Milner-Skudder, who has been released by the All Blacks for the first game of the season, will start on the left wing, while Jade Te Rure gets the nod at first five-eighth after recovering from the knee injury he picked up in the preseason. The man to watch will be newly contracted Hurricanes lock/ blindside flanker Liam Mitchell.

The Mooloo men will have plenty of reason to be fired up for the match having been demoted from the premiership division last year. Their 2017 season included a 23-10 loss to Manawatu in Hamilton.

In that match, the Turbos frontrow got hammering Waikato up front and halfback Jamie Booth turned on a dazzling display.

Booth, like last year, will add impact off the bench.

Week 1

Post Match Report

The Manawatu Turbos got their season off to the perfect start with a bonus-point win over Waikato at CET Arena on Saturday. All four tries went to debutants with Junior ‘Prince of Pace’ Laloifi bagging a brace. Rob Thompson and Faalelei Sione were the other try scorers.

Waikato got things underway positively on attack from the opening minute. Sevu Reece scored within the first five minutes and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho then got across the line from a rolling maul. While Waikato were hot on attack a number of times, the Turbos defended staunchly. But when the Turbos did get on attack, they were dangerous. Laloifi said it was a special feeling when he found the space to score the opening try. “It was like running on the treadmill,” he said. “I could see the tryline and could see nothing else but the tryline.” Laloifi had plenty of support in the back three with Nehe Milner-Skudder, who shared the duties at fullback.

“We each took turns. I am learning things off him and it is amazing,” he said. The Turbos had a chance late in the half after Antonio Kiri Kiri made a big break, but they couldn’t manage to get across the line meaning they trailed 12-5 at halftime. In the second half the Turbos continued to run Waikato across the field.

They draw level when Sione dove on the loose ball after the referee ruled it had been stripped out of a teammates hands rather than knocked on.Thompson scored in the left corner to give the Turbos their first lead of the match. But Waikato fought back with a 60m effort finished off by Declan O’Donnell.

Laloifi picked up the final try, which proved to be the match-winner, with four minutes to play. Laoifi said he was already looking forward to the next match. “Winning the first, game is good so we can build off that and how good is playing for the Ranfurly Shield next week?”

Manawatu Turbos 24 (Junior Laloifi 22, Faalelei Sione, Rob Thompson tries; Jade Te Rure con, Sam Malcolm con) Waikato 19(Sevu Reece, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Declan O’Donnell; Fletcher Smith 2 con) HT: 12-5 Waikato

The Team:


    Nick Crosswell

    Antonio Kiri Kiri

    Tim Cadwallader

    Fraser Armstrong

    Brice Henderson

    Liam Hallam-Eames

    Sione Asi

    Liam Mitchell


    Kayne Hammington

    Jade Te Rure

    Nehe Milner-Skudder

    Rob Thompson

    Te Rangatira Waitokia

    Lifeimi Mafi

    Junior Laloifi