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Half-part for Ambaka as Manawatu shock Waikato
By Patrick Korir | Mon 18 Sep, 2017 10:02

Kenyan winger Willy Ambaka wrapped up the first half as Manawatu Turbos picked only their second win of the season with a shock 23-10 win over Waikato in a Mitre 10 Cup round five duel on Saturday 16 September at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Ambaka who started out at wing, on the opposite end of Newton Tudreu, was to be pulled out early in the second half as part of sweeping changes that eventually turned the tide against a fancied home side Waikato. 

Also read Ambaka to start as struggling Turbos chase playoffs

The win, just the second of the season, sends Manawatu Turbos into playoff position four in the seven-team Mitre 10 Cup Championship standing. 

It never came easy though as they had to erase a 10-3 deficit for the rare triumph. Manawatu trailed 5-3 heading at the break, this from an unconverted try from Waikato outside center Pita Ahki just three minutes into the game. Their response was a penalty from Jade Te Rure in the 38th minute.

Waikato then added on to that score with a try from replacement front-rower Samisoni Taukei’aho four minutes into the second half for the 10-3 lead.

Manawatu eased past Waikato with two tries mid way through the half by Jamie Booth and Harrison Brewer who both came off the bench, both converted by Jade Te Rure, whose two further penalties in the last mile of the game handed his side the 23-10 win.

Manawatu are now on 11 points after five games, one ahead of fifth placed Bay of Plenty -- the team they narrowly lost out to 20-17 last Friday at CET Arena, and three behind third placed Otago, while Waikato sits fifth in the seven-team Premiership standings with 14 points, one behind Tasman.

Patrick Korir
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