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Taranaki hold out Manawatu in the wet

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/09/2016

Taranaki have put Ranfurly Shield heartache behind them with a hard-fought 30-19 win over Manawatu in soggy New Plymouth.

Wet weather turned the cross-over match into a forward arm-wrestle which became feisty at times between the North Island neighbours.

Taranaki scored the last 10 points to ensure they remain second in the Premiership behind Canterbury, having lost just one of seven games.

Their other setback was last week's 20-20 draw in the Ranfurly Shield challenge in Hamilton, a result which meant Waikato remained holders.

Third-placed championship outfit Manawatu, who stunned Canterbury last week, threatened to claim another premiership scalp on Saturday when leading 16-15 at halftime.

Two penalties to first five-eighth Otere Black were followed by a try from winger Ambrose Curtis, who slid over from several metres out.

Prop Reuben O'Neill and halfback Kylem O'Donnell scored Taranaki's first-half tries while wing Latu Vaeno and reserve hooker Rhys Marshall ensured their team would earn a bonus point with tries in the last 13 minutes.

Manawatu captain Callum Gibbons appeared to score a try in the final act of the game but it was ruled a knock-on, denying his team a bonus point.

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