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Northland start season in spectacular fashion with commanding win over Manawatu

Northland started their Mitre 10 cup campaign in spectacular fashion today, crushing Manawatu 43-26 in Whangarei, with the Turbos squandering an early lead.

Tom Robinson of Northland fends the defenders during the round 1 Mitre 10 Cup match between Northland and Manawatu at Semenoff Stadium Source: Getty

The opening 20 minutes belonged to Manawatu with tries from Sam Stewart and James Tofa coming in quick succession along with two succesful penalty attempts from Ben Wyness. 

Holding a 17-point lead midway through the first-half, the green machine looked to be in control; however, it all unravelled from there.

Northland replied with Sam Caird, Sam Nock and Kara Pryor dotting down before the halftime siren going into the break with a slim 22-20 lead.

With the exception of two successful penalty attempts, Manawatu continued to spiral out of the contest in with three more unanswered Northland tries taking place in the second half.

An injection of experience from the bench with Aaron Smith and Nehe Milner-Skudder, wasn't enough to revitalise the Turbos' hopes with Milner-Skudder seeing yellow for a deliberate knock down.