There was plenty of reason for optimisim as the Turbos returned to the Championship division in 2016.
The Turbos opened their season with a win over Northland with Ngani Laumape announcing arrival in Manawatu with a pile of big carries. They were pushed to the wire against Southland before Otere Black slotted the match-winning penalty on fulltime.
The team travelled to Waikato in week three to challenge Waikato for the Ranfurly Shield. While they came close to claiming the spoils, they just missed out. A disappointing performance against North Harbour was quickly forgetten by a stunning win over Canterbury in the rain in Palmerston North. A try just before the fulltime whistle handed the defending champions their first loss of the season.
But the consistency they needed was not there with losses to Taranaki and Hawke's Bay hurting their chances. When Wellington rolled into town, the Turbos were ready to launch an ambush. Their free-flowing rugby and four tries to flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri saw them post a 50-point win.
Losses to Bay of Plenty and Otago meant they just missed out on a semifinal place.
Aug 19th - 7:35pm | Toll Stadium
Northland 27-34 Turbos
Aug 26th - 5.45pm | Arena Manawatu
Turbos 34-31 Southland
Sep 4th - 4.35pm | FMG Stadium
Waikato 19-10 Turbos
Sep 10th - 2.35pm | North Harbour Stadium
North Harbour 29-25 Turbos
Sep 17th - 4.35pm | Arena Manawatu
Turbos 19-13 Canterbury
Sat, Sep 19th - 5.35pm | Yarrow Stadium
Taranaki 30-19 Turbos
Oct 1st - 7.35pm | Arena Manawatu
Turbos 21-30 Hawke's Bay
Oct 5th 3rd - 7.35pm | Arena Manawatu
Turbos 50-28 Wellington
Oct 9th - 4.35pm | Rotorua International Stadium
Bay of Plenty 38-33 Turbos
Oct 14th - 7.35pm | Arena Manawatu
Turbos 14-21 Otago