Tasman had no trouble in beating Manawatu 27-3 in their national championship rugby match in Palmerston North today.
The Makos controlled the game from the start and were rewarded with four tries in foul conditions to snatch the bonus point.
Played on a saturated ground with a heavy westerly wind blowing, Tasman scored tries early in each half to shut out a Manawatu side which didn't look like scoring a try.
It was a long way for Manawatu from their stirring win over Northland in midweek while the Makos recorded their second win in three outings.
Tasman were too solid all round, especially in defence, winning copious turnovers while Manawatu didn't fire up.
The crucial try came five minutes after halftime when a clever grubber kick from Tasman first-five Hayden Cripps saw fullback Robbie Malneek speed across for a 13-3 lead. With the weather at their backs, Tasman had control from there.
They got their bonus point try two minutes from time from a tap kick even though Jordn Taufua lost control of the ball going over.
Tasman had stunned the Turbos in the opening two minutes by scoring a valuable try into the stiff wind.
It was a simple move on the blindside, Malneek wafted through the tackle of first fie-eighth Tomasi Cama to put speedy winger Peter Betham over for the try from halfway. Betham was a handful for the Turbos all game.
Tasman from then on played sensible, controlled rugby into the elements, the forwards lugging the ball up and Manawatu spent much of the half defending.
It finally paid off when Andrew Goodman slotted a penalty for Tasman in front of the posts 25 minutes into the game and the 8-0 lead was worth many more points than displayed on the scoreboard.
Manawatu would have expected to profit from the wind. Their goalkicker Craig Clare could land only one of his four attempts and that hurt the Turbos because all were kickable.
Tasman 27 (Peter Betham, Robbie Malneek, James Lowe, Jordan Taufua, tries; Andrew Goodman 2 con, pen)
Manawatu 3 (Craig Clare pen)
Sunday September 9 2012 04:50 a.m.