The Tasman Mako has survived its short turnaround, edging Manawatu 29-19 in Palmerston north tonight to go to second on the Mitre 10 Cup premiership table.
BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]
With three games in nine days, the Mako made a number of changes to the side that dispatched Taranaki on Friday night but it didn't take long for the new combinations to click.
The visitors made an electrifying start, winger Jamie Spowart exploding through the line from inside his own territory and eluding three defenders to score a scintillating opener.
The Turbos responded through first five Sam Malcom before blockbusting centre Levi Aumua powered his way over from close range after a strong rolling maul from the pack.
Just as it looked like the Mako would take a handy nine-point advantage into the break, the Turbos dotted down after the halftime hooter through prop Michael Alaalatoa.
The visitors butchered a golden opportunity to score right after oranges, O’Malley throwing a forward pass with a three man overlap.
However, it didn’t take the Mako long to add to its halftime total, replacement fullback Will Jordan strolling over with his first touch.
A high shot from Turbos skipper Antonio Kirikiri on Spowart saw the hosts reduced to 14 men, the Mako immediately taking advantage as Mitch Hunt scored a fourth for Tasman.
The Turbos got back within striking after being restored to a full complement, Michael Tagicakibau cutting Tasman’s lead to seven.
Hunt stretched it to ten with the games first penalty goal as the Mako closed out a comfortable bonus point victory.
Thought they took maximum points from the trip north, Mako skipper David Havili was frustrated following the win.
"They put under a lot of pressure and we have got to be better than that."
Havili acknowledged the Mako lineout did not function properly and they will need to make improvements heading into the weekend. "We have just got to be smart and take each game as it comes."
Live-wire halfback Finlay Christie was awarded man of the match after another strong performance.
The Mako will head home to Nelson to host Counties Manakau this Sunday afternoon at Trafalgar Park.
Kick off at 2.05pm.
Tasman 29 (Spowart, Aumua, Jordan, Hunt tries, O’Malley 2, Hunt 1 cons Hunt 1 pen) v Manawatu 19 (Alaalatoa, Tagicakibau, Malcolm tries, Malcolm 1, Black 1 cons). HT: 14-12