Taranaki retain Log o' Wood against Turbos

11 October 2017 8:34 AM

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Taranaki will hold the Ranfurly Shield through the New Zealand summer after outclassing Manawatu 46-25 on Wednesday.

Fijian-born All Blacks Waisake Naholo and Seta Tamanivalu did all the damage in New Plymouth, bagging a brace apiece and running riot.

Charlie Ngatai, Kylem O'Donnell and Adrian Wyrill also bagged Bulls tries.

Sent to the provinces for match time by Test boss Steve Hansen, rampaging winger Naholo was a particular threat with several cutting runs.

He bagged the first try of the night after a clever team move down the right flank in the 21st minute, and another in the final minute of the first half.

With all hope seemingly lost, the Turbos roared out of the blocks in the second stanza and scored a quick-fire try through Jamie Booth.

But Ngatai - an All Black himself - put the nail in the Manawatu coffin in the 57th minute, rendering a pair of Turbos tries mere consolations.

The Bulls' bonus-point win puts them in an ideal Premiership position, with victory against North Harbour on Sunday guaranteeing them first place on the ladder.

That would secure them a home grand final, should they win their semi-final.

They will also hold the Log o' Wood at least until next year, with no further round-robin home games to be played this season.

"We talked about it this week, that both teams had a lot to play for - obviously the Shield was there for the win," Taranaki captain Angus Ta'avao said.

"We talk about putting out an 80-minute performance and unfortunately we didn't do that, we haven't done that all season, playing quite patchy."

Taranaki claimed the Ranfurly Shield for the first time since 2012 last week, thumping previous holders Canterbury 55-43.

Source: home.nzcity.co.nz

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