Turbos push Canterbury close
The Turbos took the fight to Canterbury, but they could not quite steal the win in Christchurch on Thursday. Canterbury claimed the 34-23 win, largely thanks to two quick second half tries that helped them pull clear. But that only came after the trailed at the break with the Turbos pulling together some strong attacking phases built on getting quick service from the forwards.
Canterbury got on the board within the first five minutes when Reed Prinsep crossed in the back of a rolling maul. Sam Malcolm kicked a pair of penalties as the Turbos started to find some more consistent attacking ball. The Turbos then took the lead as Liam Mitchell grounded the ball against the lower post pad in the 22nd minute. But Canterbury were quickly back on attack as Greg Pleasants-Tate was the benefactor from another Canterbury rolling maul.
Manawatu held on for the 13-12 lead at the break. But Canterbury did not wait long to strike in the second half as Caleb Makene scored four minutes into the second half. When Brett Cameron bagged a try in the 55th minute, the game hung in the balance for the Turbos. While the Turbos pushed hard for points, they struggled to set a base with a shaky lineout.
Canterbury were swift when they got a chance and Luke Romano pushed them well clear. Lifeimi Mafi scored his first try for the Turbos since 2003 to give the Turbos a sniff of a bonus point with three minutes to play after James Tofa made a break in the midfield.
Tofa impressed off the bench and joining Rob Thompson, Michael Alaalatoa and Jamie Booth as the Turbos’ top performers.
The Turbos now have eight days to prepare before they take on Northland in Whangarei.
Canterbury 34 (Reed Prinsep, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Caleb Makene, Brett Cameron, Luke Romano tries; Brett Cameron 3 con, pen) Manawatu 23 (Liam Mitchell, Lifeimi Mafi tries; Sam Malcolm 2 con, 3 pen) HT: 13-12 Manawatu