As it happened: Crusaders pile on the points in second half to put final nail in Blues' coffin

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Super Rugby contest between the Crusaders and the Blues at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

FT: CRU 54-17 BLU

CRU TRY! That does it and a tough night for the Blues is finished with a try by former Blues halfback Bryn Hall. Rough end to the season for the Blues after showing signs of a fight in this second half. But like most of this season, they failed to fire in the key moments and it's cost them big time on the scoreboard. That'll do it for us tonight. Enjoy your weekend.

78min: CRU 47-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Another big run by Samu sets up the Crusaders again. But this time it's not a razzle-dazzle back getting it done. It's Whitelock charging through, powering his legs from 15m out to break a tackle and reach out and score. 

74min: CRU 40-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Would you know it, the Crusaders have scored at the other end. After reaching halfway through a break by Samu, They fling it left to Goodhue and he breaks a tackle to get into the Blues' backfield with 35m to go. Draws in Gatland and fires it to an unmarked Bridge on the left wing. Bridge strolls in 20m to score. Crusaders rugby at its finest.

71min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues look destined to score after Nock makes a linebreak through the middle of the field. He has Dagg to beat but flings it to Nanai instead. Nanai has 20m to go for the corner but out of nowhere, Bridge swoops in to cut him short. Nanai pops it up to Nock and Nock tries for the corner himself but Bridge has gotten up and stopped him too, taking him into touch. What amazing defence. Blues will be wondering what they have to do at this point.

70min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues keep the ball in hand and earn a penalty for their work. Crusaders will want to look at that area after tonight - a lot of penalties against them. This time, it's cost them a lineout on halfway.

68min: CRU 33-17 BLU

Blues under all sorts of pressure here after the Crusaders earn a turnover and use it to kick for territory. Dagg grubbers one through and finds touch on the Blues' 5m.

66min: CRU 33-17 BLU

CRU TRY! Setpiece perfection. Crusaders work a backline play off the lineout and Tamanivalu gets into space in the midfield as he bumps off Rieko Ioane. He finds support with Israel Dagg and Dagg moves it on to Bridge who scores.

63min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Blues throuw their attacking chance away as they knock the ball on and dive on it illegally. Penalty to the Crusaders and they kick for touch themselves. Crusaders lineout 40m from the line.

62min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Ioane causes trouble for the Crusaders again in the ruck and earns the Blues a penalty as Goodhue doesn't release the ball. Blues kick for touch and it's a lineout just inside the Crusaders' half.

60min: CRU 26-17 BLU

The teams opt into a game of forceback for territory with kicks and the Crusaders appear to be the winners. Gatland gets pinned in his 22m so he thumps for touch. Crusaders lineout just inside the Blues' half.

58min: CRU 26-17 BLU

Crusaders looking just a little bit flustered here. They work the ball on halfway but after eight phases have gone nowhere. They opt to go wide and Goodhue is the target but he's dropped it cold. Blues scrum 10m inside their half.

56min: CRU 26-17 BLU

BLU TRY! Gatland fires a beauty to Perofeta. Who gets outside Goodhue and has Nanai on the left wing. He flings it out to him and Nanai has 10m to finish it. He dives in with an acrobatic finish to get the job done. Blues showing some fight.

54min: CRU 26-12 BLU

Blues forwards get it done again. Crusaders had a scrum on halfway and it fell to bits stopping any chance of a setpiece. They try to recover at the back but Akira Ioane is in there causing chaos and it's a penalty for not releasing. Blues kick for touch and get a lineout 10m out. If they score here, we could be in for an interesting finish.

52min: CRU 26-12 BLU

BLU TRY! The Crusaders scrum buckles and it's a penalty try for the Blues! Rare sight that, Crusaders forward pack buckling to that extent. Finally, the Blues convert in the 22m.

49min: CRU 26-5 BLU

12 phases and nothing from it. Crusaders go for a turnover at the ruck on their line but knock it on in the process. Scrum on the Crusaders 5m to come. How long can they hold the Blues out?

47min: CRU 26-5 BLU

Blues have a chance to respond after the Crusaders are penalised off the kickoff for not releasing. Too far behind now to go for three so the kick for the corner is the option. Lineout 5m out to come.

45min: CRU 26-5 BLU

CRU TRY! Too easy. Crusaders look to maul, see it isn't an option and fire it to the middle. Goodhue steps inside his man and goes under the posts for his second of the night.

42min: CRU 19-5 BLU

A cross kick to the left wing puts the Crusaders in space and down into the Blues' 22m. They go for another cross kick to the right wing but it bounces and the Blues recover. Not for long though as Nanai gets bundled into touch. Crusaders lineout 5m out.

40min: CRU 19-5 BLU

Gatland gets us back underway.

HT: CRU 19-5 BLU

First half in the books and the Crusaders are putting on a masterclass. Defence is bringing Blues to a grinding halt and they're using their limited chances to convert big time at the other end. It's going to take something special to send Kaino out a winner from here. We'll be back soon with the second half.

40min: CRU 19-5 BLU

CRU TRY! The Crusaders finish the half in style. Drummond runs off the back of the ruck and a step back to his left puts into the Blues' backfield in their 22m. He's one on one with Gatland, gets tackled but offloads to Tamanivalu who dives in under the posts. 

37min: CRU 12-5 BLU

The ball comes off the top and Pulu fires it to the midfield but there's a knock on. To make matters worse, two phases later the Blues are penalised for being offside. Once again, they fail to convert in the Crusaders' 22m. Crusaders kick for touch and find a lineout on halfway.

36min: CRU 12-5 BLU

Perofeta gets outside his defender to run into the Crusaders' half. He's brought down but the Blues recycle it quickly. getting it back to the midfield. They look for the left wing with a cross kick but it sails out on the full. Ref comes back for advantage for offside. Blues use it to kick for touch and it's a Blues lineout 10m from the Crusaders' line.

34min: CRU 12-5 BLU

Crusaders work the ball back into the Blues' half but again they're handling lets them down. There's a knock on on the right wing and it gives the Blues a scrum just inside their own half.

32min: CRU 12-5 BLU

BLU TRY! The Blues finally get on the scoreboard but would you believe it, it was from an interception. Not their own ball. Nanai snipes a pass by Dagg on the left wing and streaks from halfway to score in the left corner. Dagg's pass wasn't bad. Just well read by Nanai.

29min: CRU 12-0 BLU

Once again, the Blues are denied as the Crusaders get a turnover close to their line. They look to run it out but that gets stopped on halfway after Todd can't pull in a wide pass. Blues scrum on halfway but you've got to credited the Crusaders' defence tonight so far. The Blues have had a lot of ball and territory but can't get anything with it.

26min: CRU 12-0 BLU

Blues have another attacking chance after the Crusaders are penalised for a head high tackle on Perofeta. The kick gets them a lineout 10m from the line.

24min: CRU 12-0 BLU

CRU TRY! Crisp, flat passes puts Bridge in space on the left wing with 5m to go and he's in. Jeez that'll hurt the Blues. 21 phases and they couldn't muster any points. The Crusaders come away with seven points on a third of that possession.

21min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues get down into the Crusaders' 22m thanks to a great run by Duffie down the right wing. Blues try to muscle up from there and after 15 phases their 5m short. After 21 phases the Blues try to go wide but Sam Whitelock intercepts it. He finds support and Crotty kicks it ahead. Blues recover it but the Crusaders are all over the ball and force a knock on. Crusaders scrum on the Blues' 22m.

17min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Some strong defence from the Blues stops the Crusaders dead in their tracks and it leads to a penalty for not releasing the ball. Crusaders had eight phases there but ended up going backwards. Blues take the penalty and kick for touch. Their lineout is 35m from the Crusaders' line.

14min: CRU 5-0 BLU

A couple of scrum resets leads to a penalty for the Crusaders as the Blues collapse. Crusaders kick for touch and get a lineout on the Blues' 22m.

12min: CRU 5-0 BLU

The Blues can't make any indents and they're penalised for not releasing. Big chance goes begging. However Mo'unga's kick doesn't find touch so the Blues bring it back to halfway. They shift the ball to the right and Nanai gets hit by Bridge and loses the ball in the process. No advantage, Crusaders scrum on halfway.

9min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues with an attacking chance after they earn a penalty for offside. They turn down the three on offer and kick for touch. Lineout 10m from the Crusaders line coming up.

7min: CRU 5-0 BLU

Blues build pressure on halfway for seven phases before trying for space on the left. However Tamanivalu attempts an intercept and knocks it on to stop it. No advantage, Blues scrum on halfway.

5min: CRU 5-0 BLU

CRU TRY! Quick hands by the Crusaders lets Crotty put Goodhue in space and he's too close to the line to stop. Dives over to score early in this game. Not the start the Blues wanted.

3min: CRU 0-0 BLU

Worrying signs early for the Blues as Tamanivalu busts through 3 tackles on the right wing as the Crusaders go from their 22m to the Blues'. He gets it back infield to Goodhue he links up with Taufua. Taufua is broght down 5m short. The Crusaders try to recycle quick to the left but it's loose. Ref comes back for offside advantage and it's a Crusaders scrum 5m from the Blues line.

KICKOFF

We're off in Christchurch via Mo'unga's boot.

Jordan Taufua against the Blues
Jordan Taufua against the Blues Source: Photosport

PREVIEW

The Blues want to farewell Jerome Kaino with an upset Super Rugby win when the curtain comes down on their forgettable Super Rugby campaign.

Coach Tana Umaga's men will try to end an 18-match winless run against Kiwi opponents when they face the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch tonight.

They may need to rely on complacency from the hosts, who are confirmed top qualifiers for the finals after winning their past 11 games.

Umaga believes his players will lift for 35-year-old All Blacks stalwart Kaino, whose 139th game for the Blues is his last before departing for French club Toulouse.

"This game means a lot. We want to send Jerome off in the best possible fashion," Umaga said.

"We are going into a cauldron in Christchurch but we have to go with eyes wide open and also take confidence from the game last week."

The 42-24 loss to the Hurricanes was their 11th, leaving the former Super Rugby powerhouses on the verge of equalling their second-worst season record.

The worst was a 3-13 return in 2015, the final season under John Kirwan before Umaga began his unflattering tenure.

The Blues' lone starting change this week is at lock, where Ben Nee-Nee replaces the injured Matiaha Martin.

The Crusaders have made six changes from the team who trumped the Highlanders 45-22.

Only one member of their all-All Black tight five - captain Sam Whitelock - remains while Israel Dagg returns at fullback in just his fourth appearance of an injury-ravaged season.

TEAMS

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Tim Perry

Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele

Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ben Nee-Nee, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Ross Wright, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jacob Pierce, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Tamati Tua


Topics



French rugby skipper Mathieu Bastareaud suspended for five weeks for sickening swinging forearm on prone rival

French rugby skipper and midfielder Mathieu Bastareaud has been suspended for five weeks after his brutal attack on a rival in a Top 14 match in Toulon last week.

The French disciplinary committee handed the Toulon centre a five-match ban, after he was sent off for a swinging forearm attack on Castres lock Christophe Samson while he was lying prone on the ground.

Bastareaud was initially handed a six week ban for the foul play and was given an extra week due to his poor disciplinary record.

But because the 30-year-old pleaded guilty and showed remorse after his attack he had his suspension reduced by two weeks.

He will miss five games for Toulon but will be available for France's Test matches against South Africa, Argentina and Fiji in November.

Bastareaud attacked Castres lock Christophe Samson with a swinging forearm while he was on the ground during a Top 14 match in Toulon. Source: CANAL +


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TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Wallabies legend backs under-fire Cheika to lead team to another strong World Cup campaign

Thursday marks one year till the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup but former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock is urging Australian fans not to panic.

Even if they have every right to.

"They've still got time," Mortlock told AAP when asked if under-fire coach Michael Cheika had the capacity to arrest the Wallabies' alarming decline from 2015 finalists to an all-time low ranking of seventh in the world following Saturday's sobering loss to Argentina.

"You've only got to look at the last World Cup. 'Cheik' only had the team for less than 12 months.

"So it can be done.

"It's more a case of what's happening now and the systemic issues that are creating the poor results of late.

"That's probably more the question: What specifically do they need to do better to consistently turns these defeats around?

"A lot of them are quite narrow, barring the ones against New Zealand."

The concern for Mortlock is the Wallabies' troubles are widespread, though not necessarily deep rooted - and certainly not irreversible.

Australia's 2007 World Cup captain nominated the Wallabies' inconsistent defensive displays, ill-discipline, "robotic" attack and long-running lineout woes as the four chief issues holding Cheika's side back.

"It can be turned around and, once things start falling in place, it can happen quite quickly," Mortlock said.

"However, there's four things I've highlighted that need to be consistently done at a high level when it matters the most. That's Test-match footy.

"But questions need to be asked a little bit about these facets of our game because they've been off - and they're considerably off."

Just how off is evident in the Wallabies' dreadful record against the top-tier nations since he took the helm in October, 2014.

Since then, Australia are two from 11 against the top-ranked All Blacks, one from five against world No.2 Ireland and one from seven against Eddie Jones' England, who the Wallabies haven't beaten since the 2015 World Cup.

The Wallabies have also lost their past two encounters with Scotland and beaten South Africa only once in their past four starts before slumping to their first defeat to Argentina on home soil in 35 years.

All up, the Wallabies have an unflattering 50 per cent winning strike rate under Cheika - 26 wins from 52 Tests.

The good news is they are a combined seven from seven against their 2019 World Cup Pool D rivals Wales (4-0), Fiji (2-0), Uruguay (1-0) and Georgia since his appointment.

Only a complete disaster would stop the two-time champions and four-time World Cup finalists from safely progressing to the knockout stages in Japan.

Even a loss and finishing second in their pool wouldn't be the end of the world given Australia's quarter-final opponents will be tough regardless, coming from Pool C's group of death containing England, Argentina, France, Tonga and the USA.

In any case, Mortlock maintains Cheika is the man to lead the Wallabies to the global showpiece despite calls for his head growing louder.

"Cheika's a fantastic championship coach," Mortlock said.

"He's really good at getting everybody aligned and armed and ready to go in to battle for something unique and obviously now that's the World Cup in the next 12 months.

"That's going to be his sole focus and I'd argue he's in his element when he's got something really specific to focus on.

"If I go back to prior to him getting the last World Cup coaching gig, when he took the Waratahs to the (Super Rugby) championship in 2014, there were a lot of things that he did that were effective.

"He has an ability to galvanise the team to go hard towards an end goal.

"So he went very well in 2015 with limited preparation so I very much think he's still the right man to steer us through a campaign."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika during the Wallabies Captain's Run at Eden Park ahead of this weekend's Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship match in Auckland. Friday 14 August 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Source: Photosport


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TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Watch: Tasman winger stuns Turbos with explosive run to score superb solo try

Tasman have outlasted a spirited Manawatū to earn a 29-19 Mitre 10 Cup win in Palmerston North tonight.

The Mako were made to work all night by the Turbos but got off to a flying start thanks to a superb solo run by Jamie Spowart.

Spowart was the first receiver off a Mako scrum inside their own half and after a simple step back to his right, burst through a hole in the Manawatū defence.

The Tasman winger ended up running 60m untouched to score and give Tasman an early lead they would never surrender in the rest of the match.

That wasn't to say the Premiership side weren't tested by the struggling Championship outfit as Manawatū pressure Tasman's forwards all night.

As a result, the Mako's scrums and lineouts began to become a serious issue in the game as they gave up multiple knock-ons and penalties which the Turbos converted on twice.

Despite a try on halftime to cut the deficit to 14-12, the Turbos were ultimately undone early in the second half when they gave up two tries in the space of eight minutes.

A late score from Michael Tagicakibau wasn't enough to rein in the visitors either.

With the win, Tasman remain second on the table behind Auckland in the Premiership while Manawatū continue to remain trapped in second-to-last in the Championship with just one win in six games so far this year.

Jamie Spowart took the ball off a scrum, spied a hole and never looked back. Source: SKY


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As it happened: Tasman outlast scrappy Manawatū to take hard-earned win

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Mitre 10 Cup match between Manawatū and Tasman at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North.

FT: MAN 19-29 TAS

That does it for a scrappy ol' game in Palmy. A much better performance from Manawatū than in recent weeks but still not enough to get them a win. Tasman will have plenty they want to work on this week - especially the forwards at set piece after a horrid night in both scrums and lineouts. Still, it's a bonus point win and keeps them in the upper echelon of the Premiership table. That'll do it from us here tonight. Have a good evening.

77min: MAN 19-29 TAS

Manawatū look for a late line break but there's a forward pass from Malcolm. That'll probably do it. Mako scrum on halfway.

75min: MAN 19-29 TAS

TAS THREE! Hunt slots it with ease and pushes the lead to 10.

74min: MAN 19-26 TAS

Mako launch a composed attack and get to within 2m after 19 phases of play. Nothing fancy. Just forwards and backs hitting the line with hard, straight runs and getting over the advantage line. Manawatū finally give up a penalty for being offside. Looks like Tasman will play it safe and take the three.

70min: MAN 19-26 TAS

Black's kick goes to waste as there's another knock on at the lineout. Tasman scrum on their 22m.

69min: MAN 19-26 TAS

Tasman try to milk another penalty at the scrum but it backfires as they lose control of the ball at the back and get penalised for not releasing when Manawatū come through to steal it. Black hoofs it down field and it's a beauty. Turbos lineout on Tasman's 22m.

67min: MAN 19-26 TAS

Turbos straight back under pressure as their lineout throw isn't straight just outside their 22m. That's going to give Tasman an attacking scrum.

65min: MAN 19-26 TAS

MAN TRY! Tasman are penalised for an early push at the scrum. It's taken quickly but the ball is inches short. Turbos recycle quickly, numbers to the right and Tagicakibau goes over. Black adds the extras and Manawatū are back to within seven.

63min: MAN 12-26 TAS

Tasman's defence holds and they bundle Mafi into touch. Tasman's lineout 10m from their line but it's another shocker and they knock it on! Turbos with another chance as they get the scrum 10m from the Mako line.

60min: MAN 12-26 TAS

Turbos with a big chance to come back here as they get a penalty and kick for touch. The lineout will be 10m from Tasman's line. They're still down a man though.

57min: MAN 12-26 TAS

TAS TRY! Too easy. Hunt sees a hole off the lineout, pins the ears back and sprints through it to score under the posts. Big task coming up now for the hosts.

55min: MAN 12-19 TAS

MAN YELLOW! Ironically, Kiri Kiri is sent to the bin as he's penalised for a high tackle off the lineout. Mako kick AGAIN for touch and now the lineout is 15m from the Turbos' line. Three penalties for 80m. Not a bad trade.

54min: MAN 12-19 TAS

Mako get another penalty as their maul forces another offside play from Manawatū. The ref calls in Kiri Kiri and says another one will see someone in the bin. Tasman kick for toucha again and now their lineout is 10m inside Turbos' half.

53min: MAN 12-19 TAS

Mako scrum puts the shunt on and earn a penalty as Manawatū collapses. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 15m from halfway.

52min: MAN 12-19 TAS

Turbos go absolutely nowhere for 12 phases until finally Otere Black makes a run down the left wing. Gets passed his man and finds support. Christie makes a try-saving ankle tap and there's a knock on. Mako scrum 15m from their own line.

50min: MAN 12-19 TAS

Manawatū with an attacking chance after kickoff as Tasman try to run the ball and a loose pass goes into touch. Turbo lineout 10m inside the Mako's half.

49min: MAN 12-19 TAS

TAS TRY! Mako get inside Manawatū's 22m shortly after the lineout. It comes to the left and somehow Fox-Mataamua holds onto a pass behind with a one-handed catch. He gets it to Jordan and the sub is in with his first touch of the night. O'Malley's conversion is off the post... seen that a bit lately.

47min: MAN 12-14 TAS

Big 30min coming up for one man as Jackson Hemopo comes onto the field. If he gets through this, could be in for a trip to Argentina with the All Blacks. On the field, it'll be a Mako lineout 10m inside Manawatū's half.

45min: MAN 12-14 TAS

Manawatū's defence holds for 12 phases and it forces Tasman to go wide. The pass is a big skip pass and it's forward! Turbos scrum on their 5m.

43min: MAN 12-14 TAS

Mako with another strong drive and it leads to a penalty as Turbos enter the maul offside. Mako kick for touch again and look to do the same with a 5m lineout.

42min: MAN 12-14 TAS

Mako immediately with a great attacking chance after Turbos are penalised for an illegal strip. Mako kick for touch and it's a lineout 15m from Manawatū's line.

40min: MAN 12-14 TAS

Mako get us going again.

HT: MAN 12-14 TAS

Halftime and the scoreboard is a fair reflection of the game so far. Close contest in the first half but Tasman have done more with ball in hand to earn a two point lead. What will really concern the Mako is their set play. Lineouts are a horror show at the moment and they've give up multiple penalties at the scrum too. For Manawatū, a strong first half and they'll be confident they're right in this one. It's on them now to keep that intensity up and force more errors in the second 40. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back soon.

40+2min: MAN 12-14 TAS

MAN TRY! Patience and power from Manawatū gets them a big try on halftime. They continue to pick and go for 13 phases to get within 5m of the line. Alaalatoa is at the back of the ruck and sees space on the left of the ruck. Picks, goes and stretches out to score. Plonks the ball right on the line to score. Big moment in the game.

38min: MAN 5-14 TAS

Turbos slowly burrow their way towards Tasman's 22m but there's a knock on and the Mako counterattack with Alaimalo on the left wing. He kicks ahead to chase but the bounce goes into touch. Manawatū's lineout 10m from halfway.

35min: MAN 5-14 TAS

It's a clean lineout for Tasman but a poor pass from the ensuing ruck leads to a knock on. Turbos scrum on halfway.

34min: MAN 5-14 TAS

Tasman's scrum earns another penalty as Manawatū buckle from the shove. Mako clear and get a lineout 10m from halfway.

33min: MAN 5-14 TAS

Tasman survive a horror restart. They completely misread the kickoff and Tagicakibau takes it on the full. He runs it all the way to within 5m. Manawatū go to pick and goes but one is too upright and the ball gets held up. It's a maul that dies and Tasman gets a scum 10m from their line. Lucky.

31min: MAN 5-14 TAS

TAS TRY! Tasman finally get a lineout right and it leads to Aumua scoring. They maul for a solid 20m before Makalio breaks from the back. He's taken short. It's recycled quickly and Aumua is over with ease. O'Malley converts and pushes their lead to nine.

29min: MAN 5-7 TAS

It takes a couple of resets but the Mako finally get a clean scrum. They attack down the blindside and it works as the Turbos make the tackle but they're penalised for playing at the ball off their feet. Mako kick for touch and get lineout on Manawatū's 22m. Can they get it right here?

26min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Manawatu look to score down the right wing again but they get isolated and penalised for not releasing. Tasman kick for touch and get a lineout 15m from halfway. It's yet another horrid lineout but they're lucky this time as Manawatū knock it on trying to steal it. Mako scrum 10m outside their 22m.

24min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Manawatū's defence doesn't budge for 13 phases and it forces Tasman to go wide. But that backfires as Alaimalo is driven into touch. Turbos lineout just outside their 22m.

21min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Turbos use a short lineout and get the ball to Kiri Kiri in the midfield. He hits the line hard but pops the ball loose in contact. Tasman scrum in the middle of the field bang on halfway.

20min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Turbos throw the ball away shortly after the lineout when they're penalised for not releasing. Great kick from O'Malley gives them a lineout just inside Manawatū's 22m. But it's another shocker from the Mako and a knock on leads to a Turbos scrum. Mako scrum is again penalised for collapsing so Turbos kick for toucha and it's a lineout on halfway.

17min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Tasman front row is penalised after they collapse it twice in a row. Turbos kick for touch and get a lineout 10m inside Tasman's half.

16min: MAN 5-7 TAS

Turbos clear early after the kickoff and Tasman look to attack. But after eight phases of hitting the line hard with straight runs there's a knock on. Manawatū scrum 15m inside their own half.

14min: MAN 5-7 TAS

MAN TRY! Turbos strik back with a brilliant team try. They launch an attack 40m from Tasman's line with a skip pass to the right win. Kiri Kiri fends off one before giving the ball to Waitokia. Waitokia is one-on-one and gets and offload to Malcolm who runs it 20m to score in the right corner. Great stuff.

11min: MAN 0-7 TAS

Turbos escape pressure after the Mako have another poor lineout. Turbos get the ball and Tasman are penalised for being offside soon after. Turbos kick for touch and get a lineout on halfway.

9min: MAN 0-7 TAS

Tasman right back on attack after Manawatū are penalised for hands in the ruck straight after kickoff. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 10m inside the Turbos half.

8min: MAN 0-7 TAS

TAS TRY! What an amazing run from Spowart! Gets the ball from the base of the scrum at speed and he steps inside his man. Pins the ears back and he's away to score untouched. Superb solo run. O'Malley with the extas from the right wing and he's got it.

6min: MAN 0-0 TAS

Laloifi makes a great break down the left wing but he's driven hard into the ground. Unfortunately, his head hits the ground hard with whiplash and he stays down so that forces a stoppage in play. He's slow to get up. That's his night done unless he passes an HIA. Game will restart with a scrum to Tasman 10m inside their half after Laloifi also lost the ball in contact.

5min: MAN 0-0 TAS

Manawatū come up with a steal at the lineout and clear shortly after. But Tasman counter attack down the left wing and get all the way down to just outside the Turbos' 22m. That great attack from Alaimalo is undone though as Tasman are penalised for misconduct at the breakdown. Turbos clear and get a lineout on halfway.

2min: MAN 0-0 TAS

Tasman cleary early after kickoff and the Turbos return it from halfway. Blackadder comes up with a steal at the breakdown though and Tasman look to attack but the Turbos are penalised for being offside. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 5m inside Manawatū's half.

KICKOFF

Turbos get us going!

PRE-GAME

Clear night in Palmy. Light northerly favouring the team playing left to right. 16 degrees at the moment dropping to 14. Pretty perfect conditions underfoot too.

PREVIEW

Tasman Mako player Tim O'Malley during their Pre Season Mitre 10 Cup rugby union game against the Manawatu Turbos. Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand. Friday 12 August 2016. ©Copyright Photo: Chris Symes / www.photosport.nz
Tasman Mako player Tim O'Malley makes a run against the Turbos in 2016. Source: Photosport

It's David against Goliath in Palmerston North tonight as Championship strugglers Manawatū host Premiership high-flyers Tasman.

After a positive start to 2018 with a 24-19 win over Waikato, Manawatū have suffered four straight losses to Taranaki, Otago, Canterbury and Northland.

On the other hand, Tasman have won all their matches in 2018 bar a hefty loss to undefeated Premiership leaders Auckland and enter tonight's game coming off a convincing 53-17 win over Taranaki.

One positive for the Turbos is the inclusion of All Blacks rookie Jackson Hemopo on the bench but they will be without strong performing midfielder Rob Thompson, who has been rested for the match.

Tasman have also made tweaks to their backline with captain David Havili making a rare outing at fullback with Will Jordan shifted to the bench.

TEAMS

MAN: 1.Fraser Armstrong, 2.Tim Cadwallader, 3.Michael Alaalatoa, 4.Tom Hughes, 5.Liam Hallam-Eames, 6.Samuel Slade, 7.Antonio Kiri Kiri (captain), 8.Brad Tucker, 9.Jamie Booth, 10.Sam Malcolm, 11.Michael Tagicakibau, 12.James Tofa, 13.Hamish Northcott, 14.Te Rangatira Waitokia, 15.Junior Laloifi.

Substitutes: 16.Sam Stewart, 17.Faalelei Sione, 18.Sione Asi, 19.Jackson Hemopo, 20.Adrian Wyrill, 21.Kayne Hammington, 22.Otere Black, 23.Lefeimi Mafi.

TAS: 1.Wyatt Crockett, 2.Andrew Makalio, 3.Tyrel Lomax, 4.Pari Pari Parkinson, 5.Quinten Strange, 6.Ethan Blackadder, 7.Sione Havili, 8.Taina Fox-Mataamua, 9.Finlay Christie, 10.Mitchell Hunt, 11.Solomon Alaimalo, 12.Alex Nankivell, 13.Levi Aumua, 14.Jamie Spowart, 15.David Havili (captain).

Substitutes: 16.Ray Nuiua, 17.Ryan Coxon, 18.Blair Prinsep, 19.Mike Curry, 20.John Akauolo-Laula, 21.Jack Grooby, 22.Tim O'Malley, 23.Will Jordan.

Jamie Spowart took the ball off a scrum, spied a hole and never looked back. Source: SKY


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