As it happened: Rag-tag Crusaders hold on for hard-fought win in wet conditions after physical clash with Hurricanes

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Super Rugby round 15 clash between the Crusaders and Hurricanes at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

FT: CRU 24-13 HUR

Crusaders hold the ball for the final two minutes and kick it into touch on the hooter. Well-earned win and played to the conditions. Rain got worse and worse as the night got on but they held their nerve and this make-shift forward pack has gotten the job done in the wet. That'll do it for us tonight. Enjoy your weekend!

78min: CRU 24-13 HUR

Hurricanes run it for 9 phases and finally go wide 30m out. But Barrett's pass is forward! That'll do it. Really poor pass really. Crusaders scrum 30m from their line.

75min: CRU 24-13 HUR

Crusaders pick and go for 10 phases before Drummond opts for a high kick. Hurricanes recover but as they try to go wide the ball goes in to touch. Crusaders lineout on halfway.

72min: CRU 24-13 HUR

HUR TRY! Hurricanes rumble in the midfield for 6 phases before it goes to Ardie Savea. He pops a short ball inside to Prinsep from 40m out and he's in a hole! Prinsep brushes off one, two and he's away to score under the posts! Is it enough to spark an insane rally? Eight minutes left...

69min: CRU 24-6 HUR

Couple of changes for both sides as we enter the final 10. Hurricanes have a scrum on halfway. They must strike now if they want to have a miracle's chance.

65min: CRU 24-6 HUR

CRU TRY! That could do it! Crusaders are in with a clever trick play at scrum time. Hall runs off the back of the scrum openside to draw attention and then its Bedwell-Curtis with the ball at the back attacking blindisde! Shrugs one off and he's in!

61min: CRU 17-6 HUR

WHAT A SHOCKER FROM WEST! The replacement Hurricanes first-five is in the pocket deep in the Hurricanes' in-goal and it goes to him off the scrum. He gets it clean but the Crusaders are rushing and it's come off the side of his boot! It doesn't even get out of the in-goal as it goes over the sideline! That means the Crusaders have a scrum 5m out!

60min: CRU 17-6 HUR

Jack Goodhue makes a barnstorming run off a lineout on the Hurricanes 22m! He breaks the line, shrugs off two, looks for support and tries to pop to Bridge but it goes to ground! Hurricanes scrum on their 5m.

58min: CRU 17-6 HUR

Mo'unga kicks for the corner off the scrum and it's a beauty! Perfect weight, no one back there and rolls into touch. Hurricanes with a lineout on their 5m.

56min: CRU 17-6 HUR

Both sides trade kicks early off the kickoff until the Hurricanes finally decide to try and run from outside their 22m. It goes to Lam and he tries to cut back inside and link up with Jordie but it goes to ground. Crusaders have the ball on half way when the ref stops the game with a Crusader down. Ennor is done for the night after rolling BOTH ankles in an ugly tackle. How unlucky can you get? Crusaders get a scrum on halfway for the restart.

53min: CRU 17-6 HUR

CRU TRY! Crusaders rumble over again! Alaalatoa gets the credit but the entire pack was in on the action. Hurricanes are going to need some discipline and possession to turn things around.

50min: CRU 10-6 HUR

Crusaders get another penalty off the lineout and this time it's Toomaga-Allen done for a high tackle. Same thing again, starts on the shoulder and rides up to the head - at least the referee is consistant with the call. Crusaders use the penalty to kick for touch and it's a lineout 5m from the Hurricanes' line.

49min: CRU 10-6 HUR

And straight off the kick off Savea is penalised for playing in the air. Another rough call as he was clearly going for the ball in the air and he's collided with a Crusader. Either way, Crusaders kick and get a lineout from on the Hurricanes' 10m.

48min: CRU 10-6 HUR

CRU THREE! Crusaders take the three on offer from the penalty and Mo'unga slots it.

47min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Crusaders go wide to the left after 11 phases and it's Havili for the corner but Savea wraps him up and into touch! What a try-saving tackle! Ref goes back for an offside advantage.

45min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Big chance for the Crusaders here. They clear from the scrum and earn a penalty at the following breakdown for not releasing. That leads to a lineout 10m from the Hurricanes line!

42min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Hurricanes get first attacking chance of the second half after they get a penalty for offside. That leads to a lineout inside the Crusaders half but a knock on soon after ruins that chance. Scrum for Crusaders 30m from their line.

40min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Back underway with Mo'unga's kick.

HT: CRU 7-6 HUR

The Crusaders try to drive again but it goes to ground and the ball can't get out. Ref blows the whistle and that'll do it for the half. Great job by the Hurricanes pack for holding out there. Could've been game changing considering how tight the game has been so far.

The scoreline is a perfect reflection of the game so far. Low scoring, physical affair in the wet but the Crusaders have held onto the ball just that little bit better. Still a massive second half in store. We'll be back soon for all the action!

40min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Crusaders are looking for five here. They've had two penalties and both times gone to the 5m line out despite the halftime hooter going. Shields is warned another penalty down here will result in a yellow card. Can the Crusaders convert the pressure before the half?

39min: CRU 7-6 HUR

Crusaders will get one last crack after another odd penalty. Initially its for a head high on Taminivalu but the ref says its actually for throwing him to the ground! Shields argues but to no aveil. Crusaders get a lineout 22m from Crusaders line. 

37min: CRU 7-6 HUR

HUR THREE! Hurricanes cut the lead to one after Savea makes a strong run in the middle of the field. Powers for 20m after making the line break and is finally brought down 10m from the Crusaders' line. Quick recycle leads to an offside penalty advantage and the ref quickly comes back for it when an improvised cross kick goes astray. Barrett converts from out front with ease.

35min: CRU 7-3 HUR

Hurricanes try a cross kick off the scrum but it's knocked on. Crusaders try a kick of their own off the scrum but they can't control it and it rolls into the in-goal for a 22m dropout. Barrett thumps it deep, the two teams trade high kicks and the Crusaders knock it on on halfway! Scrum coming up for the Canes.

32min: CRU 7-3 HUR

Exciting couple of phases from both teams there as Mo'unga and Ennor combine on the right wing with a chip and chase to get inside the Hurricanes half. But Mo'unga gets brought down and Perenara turns it over. Hurricanes clear but Bridge takes it quickly! Crusaders on the run but it goes to ground. Hurricanes get a scrum just outside their 22m.

29min: CRU 7-3 HUR

Alaatoa is penalised for a high shot after the TMO intervines. Bit rough really. Initial contact is on the shoulder and it slips up in the wet as Riccitelli goes down. Nothing in it still. Still, ref agrees with the TMO and it's a Hurricanes lineout just outside the Crusaders' 22m.

27min: CRU 7-3 HUR

HUR THREE! Crusaders clear off the kickoff but are penalised at the ensuing lineout as Scott Barrett plays the man in the air. Jordie steps up on halfway and gets it! Way to respond there. Good bit of sibling rivalry going on!

25min: CRU 7-0 HUR

CRU TRY! The drive finally gets over! The initial maul off the lineout dies quickly but a few pick and goes later sees Scott Barrett get over the chalk. He'll be thanking his brother Jordie for getting him down there to score that!

22min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Things don't get much better for Jordie as he's penalised for a high tackle. Crusaders use the following penalty with a thumping punt from Mo'unga and now it's a lineout 5m from the Hurricanes line! Massive chance here!

21min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Crusaders survive again! Hurricanes go wide to the right wing and Savea is in space of Milner-Skudder's pass! But Savea runs out of space so he links up with Barrett inside him but the first five knocks it on! Crusaders set up once again from 10m off their line. Mo'unga looks to clear, does so but is cleaned out late by Jordie! Penalty to the Crusaders. Odd brain explosion from Jordie there. Instead of defending a lineout 20m off their line, The Crusaders have a lineout on halfway.

19min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Crusaders survive the attack as Barrett tries a grubber through the line but its picked up by Bridge with ease. Crusaders reset at the ruck 10m off their own line before Mo'unga clears. Hurricanes lineout on the Crusaders 22m coming up. Looks like Tim Bateman's night is done as well. He's got ice going on his hamstring.

17min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Hurricanes now have their first real attacking chance. They go to a high ball off the scrum and Havili knocks it on try to collect it! No advantage so its a Hurricanes scrum in the middle of the field on the Crusaders' 22m. Doesn't get much better for a set up than that.

15min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Both teams are really struggling to hold onto the pill so far tonight. Back-to-back lineouts are overthrown and the second one sees Barrett kick it off the ground for an impromptu grubber. He looks to chip it again on halfway but misses! Crusaders dive on it, look to recycle and knock it on. Hurricanes scrum on halfway.

12min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Crusaders try to maul but it goes to ground. Hurricanes swarm on the ball and the Crusaders are penalised for not releasing! Big chance goes begging with the Hurricanes' pack getting the job done.

11min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Toomaga-Allen is penalised at the scrum and it gives the Crusaders great attacking position! The have a lineout inside the Hurricanes' 22m now.

8min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Hurricanes rumble for 11 phases before looking to go wide but Shields knocks it on! Crusaders with a scrum on halfway.

5min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Crusaders get the first chance to score with a penalty after offside is called from the lineout but Mo'unga hooks it to the left! Wind is playing up here and it shows with Mo'unga right in front for that kick from 40m out.

4min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Hurricanes are penalised for not releasing and the Crusaders happily clear. They get a lineout just inside the Hurricanes half for their efforts.

2min: CRU 0-0 HUR

First handling error of the night and it's a knock on by the Crusaders. Tried to go wide to the right wing and the ball gets dropped cold. Hurricanes scrum 35 out from Crusaders line.

0min: CRU 0-0 HUR

Barrett gets things underway and Crusaders don't muck around clearing it from inside their 22m. Hurricanes with a lineout just inside Crusaders half and there's already an injury concern as Toby Smith has gone down.

7:30pm

Light drizzle on the pitch now as the teams make their way out onto the pitch. Moments away from kick off.

WEATHER

Light showers at the moment. Eight degrees. 20km/h winds from the south west.

Hurricanes' Jordie Barrett tries to evade Crusaders' Jack Goodhue during the Super Rugby match between Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 10th March 2018. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / www.photosport.nz
Hurricanes' Jordie Barrett in action against the Crusaders. Source: Photosport

PREVIEW

Tonight's game doesn't get much better - two in-form teams face off in a top-of-the-table clash that will likely decide the NZ conference.

But there's an extra opponent the Crusaders have had to overcome this week, with the sideline claiming six of their All Blacks due to numerous injuries and suspensions.

The Cantabrians are without Owen Franks, Joe Moody (both suspended), Tim Perry, Sam Whitelock, Jordan Taufua and Ryan Crotty for the match.

Perry and Taufua are the latest to be scratched from the Crusaders' roster due to injuries picked up at this week's All Blacks camp.

The Hurricanes have been forced to make a couple of changes as well - the most notable in the centres with Matt Proctor still recovering from a sternum injury.

That sees Jordie Barrett move to the centres in his first professional start at No.12 while Nehe Milner-Skudder shifts to cover things at the back and Julian Savea recalled to the starting XV on the wing.

Bot sides know what's at stake tonight with Crusaders coach Scott Robertson excited for his men to prove they can still hold their own.

"We coach and play for these big games and it doesn’t get much bigger than hosting the Hurricanes at home for a spot at the top of the New Zealand conference," he said on Wednesday.

"The boys have worked through their individual preparation well this week and our All Blacks joined us again this morning and brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm, so there is no shortage of motivation for this match and it’s going to be a great spectacle for fans on Friday night."

TEAMS

CRU: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett

CRU subs: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Chris King, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor

HUR: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith

HUR subs: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Jonah Lowe



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.


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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.


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Average Joe to Olympian: How NZR's new initiative paves a path for sevens triallists to Tokyo Games

New Zealand Rugby says the new initiative it has launched today could see some undiscovered Kiwi talent head to the Tokyo Olympics as part of the World Champion All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens squads.

The Ignite Sevens was announced today which will see New Zealanders under the age of 23 able to trial for spots in the two sides.

NZR head of high performance Mike Anthony says the programme was designed to "encourage talented athletes from all sporting codes, regardless of rugby experience, to come forward and have a go at sevens".

"Our national Sevens teams compete at the highest level on the world stage and we want to be sure we are casting the net as wide as possible and tapping into the huge reservoir of athletic talent that exists across New Zealand."

Coming from a touch and hockey background Grace Steinmetz admits she is still getting used to contact. Source: 1 NEWS

People registered their interest earlier this year before NZR's high performance sevens coaches and trainers selected 96 players (48 men and 48 women) who will assemble in Auckland from 21 November to 24 November for a training camp and tournament.

The selected athletes will have their strength, speed, skill and agility measured before three days of training to start the camp.

Then, on the final day, players will be divided into four teams to play against each other in the inaugural Ignite7 tournament with three men and women selected by scouts to attend national development camps next year.

"The selected six players will be training alongside the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens in the New Year," Anthony said.

"It’s a massive opportunity that will give these players access to the full benefits of NZR’s high performance system and it effectively opens the door for selection into our two national Sevens teams."

After that, the chosen six can become full-fledged Sevens players in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan much like how Black Ferns Sevens players Michaela Blyde and Portia Woodman did in 2016 after a similar programme.

High performance manager Tony Philp says the Ignite 7s could be a big break for untapped Kiwi talent. Source: 1 NEWS


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'I will be joining an elite Test team' - John Mitchell confirmed as new England defence coach

Former New Zealand head coach John Mitchell will be joining Eddie Jones' staff as England's defence coach until the end of next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Mitchell will leave his role of Executive of Rugby for South African Super Rugby side the Bulls and join up with former Wallabies boss Jones this month to help prepare for their upcoming run of internationals, including a clash against Australia on November 24 at Twickenham.

The 54-year-old replaces Paul Gustard, who took over as head coach of English premiership side Harlequins this season.

"This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach," Mitchell said.

"I will be joining an elite high-performance programme, test team and coaching group where I will use all my experience and focus to bring the necessary clarity and confidence to the players from a defensive perspective."

England's defence has come under intense scrutiny after a poor run of form in 2018 that has included five defeats in eight internationals.

Three of those losses came in the Six Nations as the defending champions finished a dismal fifth, and criticism has mounted in the wake of their 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

The hope is that Mitchell's experience will aid an upturn in form. The New Zealander previously served as forwards coach to Clive Woodward when the latter was in charge of England between 1997 and 2000.

As head coach of the All Blacks, he won 23 of 28 tests and led the team to a third-place finish at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and consecutive Tri-Nations titles.

"Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach," said Australian Jones.

"He's coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here."


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