Manawatu gets second win
By Adam Hollingworth
And it was the dance of the desperates tonight between North Harbour and Manawatu.
Manawutu had just the one win from four games, while Harbour were rock bottom, winless with just one bonus point and both teams had conceded 50 points in their last game.
As might be expected from two struggling teams, one's defensive error let the other in for the first points of the match.
And Harbour lock Apisalome Ratuniyarawa extended the lead with his first ITM Cup try.
The TMO had no problem with the grounding, but the referee didn't even go upstairs when Cori Aporo thought he had crept over five minutes later.
But the TMO was called on again, only to rule out the closest Manawatu came to the line as the first half drew to a close trailing 15-6.
Still they were keeping in touch with the boot and the turbos were close enough to hit the front after Callum Gibbins drove through a yawning chasm, although the last pass looked forward.
But Harbour camped on the line and got the reward.
The turbos launched their own onslaught, but the mistake came from Harbour's own put-in. And it seemed only one person in the ground realised the mistake was fatal: Papa Wharewera, and the replays proved him right.
Manawatu's 23-20 win, their first on the Shore, leaves Harbour rooted to the bottom of the championship table.