W Manawatu Standard
No panic in Ambaka's Turbos camp
By Eric Njiru | Wed 23 Aug, 2017 09:02

Manawatu Turbos coach Jeremy Cotter is not about to hit the panic switch after a frustrating first-up performance in the national provincial championship.

The 41-29 loss to Wellington on Sunday will make for some unpleasant viewing for a handful of players, especially with some of their tackle attempts.

But while taking lessons from their mistakes, the Turbos will also be looking at what went right.

"It is not the end of the world," Cotter told Manawatu Standard. "There is something to work with and now we know where we are at."

"We scored five tries and created more opportunities. If we can get our discipline right and be a little more patient and a little more accurate at the breakdown, it will help. 

"We did not quite have the tempo in the game we would have liked. We slowed up at ruck time and we can't afford to do that. You have got to keep the tempo in there and put the opposition under stress. A fraction of a second longer and the defence is set and they are ready to knock you over again and you have to restart.

"I think our discipline was poor. Our decision making, at times we panicked. We were a bit frivolous with [the ball]... we were trying to push offloads when we didn't need to."

The Turbos conceded a try inside the first two minutes of the match. But to their credit, they responded shortly after to lead 22-12.

Manawatu's best performer was lock Jackson Hemopo, while props Sean Paranihi and Fraser Armstrong, No 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, wing Ambrose Curtis and fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder also impressed.

Three men made their Manawatu debuts on Sunday. Paranihi started his Turbos career as part of a dominating frontrow.

He was replaced by 19-year-old Sione Asi, known as Panda. Asi held his own in the scrums and made a couple of strong carries.

Willy Ambaka celebrated his Manawatu debut with a try.

The 27-year-old Kenyan sevens star looked dangerous on attack, but never really got the space he needed to breakout.

Manawatu Standard

Eric Njiru
eric@ragahouse.com 0726205521
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