Late burst gives Taranaki win

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Saturday, October 9, 2010    Getty Images

Taranaki scored four tries to one but it was not until the last 10 minutes that victory was assured over a plucky Manawatu side.

The maximum points took Taranaki to 37 points, and also cemented its place in the top four, with youngster Beauden Barrett, three-quarters George Pisi and Andre Taylor and forwards James Broadhurst and Jarrad Hoeata the beat of the pack.

Aaron Cruden again showed his class for Manawatu, and kicked four goals from four attempts, while No 8 Hamish Gosling and centre Hadleigh Parkes were others to impress.

Taranaki started the match in fourth place on 32 points and Manawatu 12th on 12 points. Both had been last-start winners, Taranaki 23-6 over Southland and Manawatu 20-8 over Tasman.

Manawatu played into the breeze on an overcast afternoon, captain and prop Grant Polson making his 50th appearance for the Turbos.

Taranaki scored after 12 minutes, fullback Scott Ireland crashing over in the left-hand corner after an initial charge by lock James Broadhurst and the transfer of the ball through almost 10 pairs of hands.

Hoeata was thrown out in the corner but Taranaki scored its second try after 20 minutes, wing Andre Taylor crashing over after a strong burst by Pisi. Willie Ripia converted and it was 12-0.

Cruden judged the breeze well to kick a penalty for Manawatu but Ripia replied after from 35 metres after 36 minutes to extend the Taranaki lead to 15-3.

Taranaki had had the edge in territory and possession in the first spell but Manawatu had been competitive and dominated the pick and go 10-2 as it battled into the wind.

Manawatu battered the Taranaki line from the outset in the second spell and, from a quick tap, Gosling smashed over for the try. Cruden converted from the sideline and the Turbos had closed the gap to 15-10.

It became a two-point game 16 minutes into the spell when Taranaki was penalised at a scrum and Cruden kicked the goal from 22 metres.

Manawatu had dominated the third quarter both in territory and on the scoreboard and Taranaki coach Colin Cooper made multiple substitutions in an attempt to inject more urgency into his team.

Taranaki finally scored its firs points of the second half after 22 minutes when Taylor kicked a penalty to extend the lead to 18-13.

But Manawatu refused to surrender and Cruden kicked his third penalty, this time when Shane Cleaver infringed at a scrum, and it was 18-16 with 12 minutes left.

Seven minutes from the end Taranaki struck a crucial blow when, from a set scrum, second five-eighth Jayden Hayward took a pass from Tyson Keats, which seemed marginally forward, to score. Taylor converted and it as 25-16.

A minute later it became 30-16 when replacement first five Beauden Barrett displayed his individual brilliance when he wrongfooted the defence as he raced 60 metres for the fourth (and bonus point) try.

Scores were:

Taranaki 30 (Scott Ireland, Andre Taylor, Jayden Hayward, Beauden Barrett tries; Willie Ripia con, pen; Taylor con, pen) Manawatu 16 (Hamish Gosling try; Aaron Cruden con, 3 pen). HT: 15-3.