Turbos Miss Out at Forsyth Barr
The Manawatu Turbos failed to convert on a sound first half performance under the roof at Foresyth Barr Stadium, going down to a spirited Otago side 40 – 30.
Otago’s defence largely nullified a Turbos backline, which, even with the inclusion of All Blacks Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ngani Laumape, lacked the final ball seen last week against Tasman.
It was looking good for the men in green and white early on however, as first half tries to Laumape and Jackson Hemopo, assisted by the boot of Otere Black, put the Turbos into the lead 20 – 13 going into the break.
But it was the home team who showed more initiative after the sides returned to the field, putting the Turbos under pressure at critical stages of the game. Excellent line speed and the ability to turn defence into attack quickly, meant tries to Mitch Scott, captain Sam Anderson-Heather and Jona Nareki, who completed a well-deserved hat trick.
A late try by replacement halfback Jamie Booth, did put the Turbos back in the lead for a brief spell, but they failed to forge enough continuity in attack afterwards, allowing for the boot of Fletcher-Smith to keep Otago far enough ahead to close the match out.
The team travels home to face Bay of Plenty at Central Energy Trust Arena on Friday night.