Turbos Net Opening Win Against Makos
The Turbos have bounced back from last week’s first round loss to knock over their perennial bogey team the Tasman Makos, 35-20.
On a sunny afternoon at Central Energy Trust Arena, the team was boosted by the added experience of Kurt Baker, Michael Alaalatoa and Hamish Northcott.
Although Manawatu conceded first through the boot of Mitch Hunt, they quickly took the ascendency in the first half by way of accurate break down work and strong set piece play.
The first try came from a string of carries in tight, with Nick Crosswell facilitating before bursting over from close range for his first try back in green and white.
If the opener was a coach pleaser, Manawatu’s second was one for the crowd. Kurt Baker marking his return with a try from a left footed chip and chase, followed by a slick gather as the ball moved away from him.
Going into the tunnel 15-3 up, assistant coach Aaron Good called for more of the same, and was particularly pleased with the way his team had managed territory.
After the break, the Turbos let in a try to Makos skipper Alex Ainley, as the Tasman attack looked as though it was about to begin to click.
In almost immediate response however, Turbos hooker Hunter Prescott was barrelled over with the help of his team mates from a rolling maul.
From there, the Turbos looked decent in breaking down Tasman attack, which never lacked intent in the good conditions. It took an exceptionally slick piece of running from fullback Will Jordan, as he linked up with Michael Green to bring the Makos back into the game.
However, where the Turbos allowed Wellington to take over in the final 15-20 minutes last week, this time they remained composed and allowed Tasman to chase the game and infringe in what were ultimately the wrong areas, with Otere Black lapping up the points on offer. Northcott polished off the encouraging performance, by scoring under the sticks on full time.
Speaking afterwards, first five Black echoed much of what his assistant coach had said during the break.
“I thought we took our opportunities today and we played down the right end of the field. We came away with points every time we ended up in their 22. So, a very pleasing result for us, especially after last week. The turnout we had today was bloody good, it was an awesome crowd and it defiantly made a big difference for us”
Heiden Bedwell Curtis, in his second official match as captain, also showed us why he was the natural replacement for the departed Callum Gibbins, making sound decisions during important moments. He was quick to point out how this job however, is made much easier by the team environment off the pitch.
“I definately felt comfortable in the role this week. I really focussed on the team midweek, and then my own game on match day, and just tried to lead by example. The team culture really helps. It takes all different types of people to build that culture, and it’s great that we’ve got 30 guys turning up who love to have a laugh, before working hard for each other.”
People’s Player of the Day by way of voting through the official Turbo’s App went to Kurt Baker. Next week the team travels to Dunedin to play Otago.