Turbos Lose to Hawke's Bay
The Turbos lost to Hawke's Bay in round seven of the Mitre 10 Cup cup 30-21.
27 second half points from the Magpies has seen them triumph over the Turbos.
In yet another game with terrible conditions, Manawatu looked to back up good home form against regional rivals, Hawkes Bay at the Central Energy Trust Arena.
It was a game of two halves with the first half belonging to the Turbos and the second firmly belonging to the Magpies who capitalised on a flat Manawatu when the second 40 began. Manawatu’s lineout was a standout with all three of their tries coming off lineout drives.
Manawatu started the game well, scoring through the boot of Otere Black from early penalties and resisting strong Hawkes Bay attack. However, the pressure from the Magpies proved too much as they ran away with the game during the latter stages.
Turbos halfback, Kayne Hammington praised his team on their first half efforts, identifying their defence and lineout drives as key aspects. “First half obviously was pretty good for us, pretty good riding on the back of their penalties. Our defence was pretty solid. Our lineout drive was outstanding this week.”
When asked about the conditions, Hammington sees no excuses but acknowledges the limitations of a wet playing field. “We should be used to it. Most of our games this year have been like that. Obviously, limits what you can do. We try and play as expansive as possible.”
As they came out after the half time break, Hammington was happy with the team’s position but penalties hindered their efforts. “It felt like we were in a good place. Those penalties were crucial. As soon as they get down to your half and get some points, they definitely took advantage of the field position and put us under the pump in that first ten minutes of the second half. Kind of let them off the hook a little bit.”
Hammington felt that possession and territory were not in the Turbos favour and allowed Hawkes Bay to get back into contention. “We were a bit limited in possession and territory and those penalties just hurt us. They just rode the momentum, got on top of us, and battled to get back into the game.”
The game began with early infringements from Hawkes Bay around the breakdown area. This gave an early ascendancy to Manawatu as Otere Black knocked over two penalties in quick succession to take the lead at 6-0.
This was the beginning of the end for Otere Black whose exemplary form with the boot evaded him and he would go on to miss any further attempts at goal.
The first try of the game came in the 29th minute through a well-executed lineout drive from Manawatu and Travis Taylor came up with the ball. The conversion was missed and the score was 11-0 with ten to go in the first half.
Hawkes Bay were putting a lot of pressure on the Manawatu defence but were unsuccessful in converting any field position into points. Within ten minutes, two Hawkes Bay tries were disallowed by the referee as the Turbos were hanging on in defence.
The Magpies’ first points came through an Ihaia West penalty in the stroke of halftime and sent them into the sheds trailing by eight. Throughout the half, Hawkes Bay had missed five tackles and had only 40% possession.
The second half was a different story altogether as early, consecutive penalties conceded by the Turbos gave West a chance to add six points to the ledger making it a two-point game.
Hawkes Bay finally took the lead through work horse, Mark Abbott who crashed over the line to make it 11-16 with a successful conversion. The Magpies’ momentum was starting to form at this stage whereas Manawatu seemed flat since returning onto the park.
Manawatu managed to score off the back of another lineout drive with Travis Taylor scoring a double. The conversion was missed and the scores were even at 16-16.
With nearly 20 minutes to go, West put another penalty through the sticks to give Hawkes Bay a slender lead. The difference in missed tackles for Manawatu from the first to the second half was considerable as the Turbos’ defensive efforts weakened.
Another penalty from West along with an unconverted intercept try from centre Robbie Fruean pushed Hawkes Bay out to a comfortable 16-27 lead as the clock wound down.
The lineout drive was useful again for the Turbos as replacement hooker, Tim Cadwallader dived over to keep Manawatu in the game. Within the last five minutes, a converted penalty from West pushed Manawatu out of bonus point contention, a point that would go towards securing a semi-final spot for the Turbos.
However, replacement kicker Sam Malcolm had a chance to retrieve that bonus point with a penalty in the last moments of the game. This was missed by the young first five and Manawatu ended up empty handed.
Ihaia West had a particularly good game with the boot while his counterpart, Otere Black had a relatively lacklustre night. It shows the value of penalties and their importance to building momentum.
This Manawatu team is one of great potential with some star players. However, as a unit, cohesion to start the second half is rarely seen. With a double header this week, the Turbos should look to address this and strive to play the first ten minutes of the second half with some intent and energy.
The next game is against Wellington on Wednesday at 7.35pm.
Manawatu: 21 ( Travis Taylor x2, Tim Cadwallader tries; Otere Black 2 pens)
Hawkes Bay: 30 (Mark Abbott, Robbie Fruean tries; Ihaia West 1 cons, 6 pens)