Game One - Counties Manukau

Turbos vs Counties Manukau Location CET Arena Friday, 06 August 2021

Winner: Turbos, 39-21

Game One - Counties Manukau

The Manawatū Turbos got their season off to the perfect start with a 39-21 win over Counties Manukau at Central Energy Trust Arena on Friday.

Flanker Shamus Hurley-Langton and first five-eighth Brett Cameron were the undoubted stars of the show, but all players stepped up in the season opener.

While the attack is what will land in highlight reels, the performance was built on a strong defensive showing that sufficated the Steelers.

The early warning signs from Counties Manukau came from the boot of wing Jarrod Halliday. His kicking range of 60m meant discipline would be key.

There was an early trading of penalties between Cameron and Halliday until Josiah Maraku cut the game open.

The centre was put through a gap from a flat ball from Taniela Filimone and he finished off the play by setting fullback Drew Wild away for the first try of the match.

Counties pulled a penalty back but on the stroke of halftime, Hurley-Langton burst through a gap and set Cameron in for a 50m try and a 23-9 lead at the break.

The second half saw the Turbos put in a clincial display with Hurley-Langton dominating the breakdown, assisted by strong performances from TK Howden and Brayden Iose and Cameron directing the team around the park.

An early try to Alamada Motuga had a Counties Manukau comeback on alert, but three second-half penalties to Cameron kept the scoreboard ticking as Counties Manukau’s error and penalty counts rose rapidly.

The Turbos’ strong display was capped off with a lineout drive to give Ray Niuia his first try in green and white and put the game beyond doubt.

The final three minutes saw Counties Manukau’s best rugby of the match but it was far too little to late.

Kalolo Tuiloma did manage to finally crack the Turbos tryline in the final minute of the match.

But that did little to take the shine off a strong defensive display.

Manawatu 39 (Drew Wild, Brett Cameron, Ray Niuia tries; Cameron 3 con, 4 pen) Counties Manukau 21 (Alamada Motuga, Kalolo Tuiloma tries; Jarrod Halliday 3 pen, con)