Manawatu v Southland Live

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Manawatu                          Southland
Friday 26th August 05:45 GMT


The first of two fixtures on Friday in the ITM Cup, sees the Manawatu Turbos host the Southland Stags at the FMG Stadium in Palmerston North. Following the Turbos relegation at the end of 2015, this is an all Championship contest. The Turbos finished 2015 rock bottom of the Premiership, having managed just three wins, and collected just 19 points. While they didn't find life easy last week against Northland in their first game of the new season, they collected a maximum five points thanks to a thrilling 34-27 victory.

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The Turbos scored 20 points in the first quarter and looked like easing to victory against the side that lost all 10 of its Championship fixtures in 2015. However, in the final analysis, it was a 76th minute try by full-back Jason Emery, that was need to secure the victory. The Stags who finished in sixth position last season, with only the winless Northland beneath them, have been handed a tough opening two rounds, with fixtures against two of the favourites for promotion to the Premiership. In Round 1, they pushed Otago for the first 40 minutes, and indeed lead at the half, but faded in the second period, and eventually went down by 17-40. They will need to be competitive for the full 80 minutes in they hope to get anything out of the game on Friday against the Turbos.

Posted: 18th October 2014


Manawatu are the clear favourites going into the semi-final of the 2014 ITM Cup Championship match at the FMG Stadium, Palmerston North on Saturday, against visitors Southland.Saturday. hosts finished their regular season with a convincing 38-25 win in Dunedin against Otago, with four first half tries securing the try-scoring bonus point, and with it the top spot on the table, even before their nearest challengers Hawkes Bay played their final fixture. Southland regular season ended with mixed emotions. They came within seconds of ripping the Ranfurly Shield out of Hawkes Bay grasp, leading 20-17 after five-eighth Lima Sopoaga kicked a long-range penalty in the 73rd minute, only for the holders level with a drop goal a minute before full time.However, the draw was enough for Southland to sneak into fourth place in the championship ahead of North Harbour, who must have thought that they play-off place was secure ahead of the Hawkes Bay against Southland clash.            

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Manawatu Turbos have conceded just 208 points in ten games, less than any team in the Championship, while Southland come onto the semi-final not having won since they beat Canterbury in Christchurch at the end of September, a result that came just a week after they had crashed to a 41-20 defeat to Manawatu on Palmerston.

Posted: 20th September 2014


Despite dominating their match last week in Albany against North Harbour Manawatu suffered a 24 13 defeat to North Harbour that allowed Northland to draw level with them at the top of the ITM Cup championship table. In midfield Jason Emery, and from fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder, were constant attacking threats, and if the Turbos can cut down on the errors which cost them so dear against North Harbour, they should feel confident of taking the points when they face Southland at the FMG Stadium in Palmerston North on Saturday. Southland might also be handicapped by the quick turn around, having played Tasman in Invercargill on Wednesday, when they never got out of the blocks, and were beaten 38-14 by the high flying Premiership team. The Stags have had an up and down season, that saw them open with two victories, but they have managed just one win in four fixtures since then. Even that victory against Northland by 36-34 came at the very end of a match that they could easily have lost.

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With no side dominating the championship this season, if Southland does defy the odds on Saturday, they will jump above Manawatu, and depending on other results, could find themselves topping the table.

Tags: ITM Cup, Manawatu, Southland, FMG Stadium, Lima Sopoaga
Posted: 26th August 2016

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