Magpies end Manawatu’s playoff hopes

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Sunday, October 15, 2017    Getty Images

Manawatu needed a win to qualify for the playoffs but the strain of a tough Ranfurly Shield challenge against Taranaki on Wednesday night seemed to take its toll as Hawke’s Bay scored six unanswered tries in the second half.


Trailing 36-17 with 10 minutes left in the game, Manawatu stormed back into the game with two quick tries and poured the pressure on the Magpies line with time up on the clock. In the end, the Magpies defence held firm to pick up their second win of the season and keep hold of the Kel Tremain trophy.

Manawatu dominated a first half that was marred by a large fight in the 33rd minute. Both teams were punished for their role in the scrap with Tony Lamborn and Nathan Tudreu both red-carded.

An intercept try to Lewis Marshall and a well-worked forward try to Tim Cadwallader lifted the Turbos to a 17-0 lead at the break.

The Magpies just couldn’t get into the game in the first 40 minutes as Manawatu controlled the tempo and dominated possession and territory. 

Everything that has gone wrong for Hawke’s Bay throughout their 2017 campaign suddenly started to go right in the second half. The Magpies threw caution to the wind and everything came off in a thrilling 20 minute period where they crossed for six tries – including a stunning double to wing Mason Emerson – to storm to a 36-17 lead.

Manawatu ensured there was one more twist with their late-comeback but the Magpies held their nerve in the end to the delight of Northland Taniwha fans.

Hawke’s Bay captain Ash Dixon said: “It was a real game of two halves that on. A few stern words were said at halftime and we changed tactics and got there. They played on Wednesday and we thought we could wear them down. I’m really proud that we have kept the Kel Tremain trophy – it means a lot to our union.”

Hawke’s Bay 36 (Gareth Evans, Brad Weber, Mason Emerson 2, Richard Buckman, Jonah Lowe tries, Ihaia West 3 con) Manawatu 31 (Lewis Marshall, Tim Cadwallader, Jason Emery tries, Jade Te Rure try, 3 con, pen, Emery con)
HT: 0-17