Manawatu 29 v 27 Bay of Plenty
The Turbos have won a thriller against the Steamers with a 29-27 win in Palmerston North to kick off the fourth round of the 2014 ITM Cup.
In what was something of a seesaw match, both sides showed promising signs throughout an absorbing contest.
Bay of Plenty held the early lead thanks the team’s second try via captain Culum Retallick, making it 12-9 after 24 minutes.
Otere Black, who had an outstanding outing for the home side, kicked the game’s first points in the seventh minute with a penalty, and added two more in the 20th and 24th minute to keep the score close – it was a remarkable game from yet another young New Zealand number 10.
Siegfried Fishiihoi would bash and crash his way over in the 12th minute, with the prop asserting the Steamers early dominance, but then Manawatu struck.
Wing Nathan Tudreu would score in the 33rd minute, striking in the corner after the home team showed a great team awareness, combined with a soft set of hands, that would give the Turbos the lead.
Three minutes later Antonio Kirikiri would cross for his five points, thanks to some brilliant work from Nehe Milner-Skudder, who initiated the break before registering the assist with a beautiful flick pass.
That would make the halftime score 21-12.
In the opening few minutes it would be tight quarter stuff, as both teams came out with clear instructions to tidy things up, and early strikes from Manawatu would be matched by the tourists.
Newton Tudreu would score after the TMO was called into action, again the home team were having some success probing towards the outside flanks.
Byron McGuigan would kick a penalty for Bay of Plenty in the 55th minute, which in hindsight would begin the fightback.
Black would kick his final penalty and Manawatu’s closing points in the 72nd minute before Michael Kainga and Joe Royal scoring forward’s tries in the last seven minutes.
It would earn the tourists two bonus points, but still the Steamers are without a win now after four matches.
Manawatu will provisionally go to the top of the Championship table with 12 points.
Tries: Nathan Tudreu, Newton Tudreu, Kirikiri
Pens: Black (4)
Bay of Plenty 27
Tries: Fisiihoi, Retallick, Kainga, Royal
Cons: Hollinshead, Toma
1 Chris Eves, 2 Rob Foreman, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 4 Nick Crosswell, 5 Fraser Stone, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 8 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 9 Jamie Booth, 10 Otere Black, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 12 Hamish Northcott, 13 Jason Emery, 14 Newton Tudreu, 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder.
Reserves: Nick Grogan, 17 Hubert Buydens, 18 Keepa Mewett, 19 Tom Hughes, 20 Kayne Hammington, 21 Jade Te Rure, 22 Jaxon Tagavaitau
Bay of Plenty team:
1. Solomona Sakalia, 2. Joe Royal, 3. Siegfried Fisiihoi, 4. Culum Retallick, 5. Tim Bond, 6. Johan Bardoul, 7. Hamish Gosling, 8. Carl Axtens, 9. Jono Kitto, 10. Dan Hollinshead, 11. Junior Tofa Va’a, 12. Doug Edwards, 13. Saiosi Iongi, 14. Tino Nemani, 15. Byron McGuigan.
16. Vyron Smith, 17. Pingi Tala’apitanga, 18. Josh Sole, 19. Jesse Acton, 20. Te Aihe Toma, 21. Nic Evemy, 22. Leroy Van Dam