Turaga triggers Turtles' massacre
RUGBY: Inside centre Joel Turaga wreaked havoc with 35 points as the unbeaten Turtles terrorised Alloway Falcons in their The Waves Spring Cup ninth round clash on Friday, running out 81-7 victors.
Alloway needed to win to keep their grand final hopes alive but Turtles coach Rob Darney said he used Falcons' player/coach Nathan Freeman's confidence that his side could play rugby structure to defeat the reigning premiers as motivation.
"I told my boys what he (Freeman) said and we went out to teach them a rugby lesson," Darney said.
"We use that and our energy as our focus and were ruthless after they got an early try against the run of play - they ripped the ball from Mat Templeman and spun it out either side and they ran the length of the field for a try.
"It was 7-0 after two or three minutes but the boys kept their heads up and turned it all around."
Turaga claimed their Man of the Match award after racking up four tries, six conversions and a penalty, while Templeman and Dean Burgess each picked up doubles.
"Joel missed the first five or six games but has played two or three now and he had a brilliant game, pivoting off the 'little general' Luke Cummins - he was very hard to tackle," Darney said.
"Nathan Blair at blind-side flanker got our two points but overall it was just consistent team play - it was brilliant and I had nothing bad to say about the way we approached the game and the method.
"We played a great game of rugby - we went back to basics with the scrums, we dominated the rucks and mauls and the backs found gaps left, right and centre.
"We played 80 minutes of football with 14 men while they had three or four reserves on the bench but we went out there and played running rugby and dominated in all facets of the game to leave them mesmerised."
Meanwhile, West Barbarians sealed second place and a berth in the grand final on December 2 by virtue of an Isis Crushers forfeit.
Despite being unbeaten since reforming prior to last season, Darney said they would not struggle for motivation through the last three rounds and there would be no complacency.
"It was a great game from the boys and it gives them the boost that they deserve - it just shows their ability and what can be achieved if we focus on basic play of rugby, and if we can keep this momentum going into the final, we'll be a force to be reckoned with," he said.
"But we won't be satisfied until the trophy is secure."
Turtles 81 (AJ Evans 1, Matt Hall 1, Luke Cummins 1, Aidan Cunningham 1, Mat Templeman 2, Dean Burgess 2, Joel Turaga 4 tries, Luke McCloskey 2, Cummins 1, Turaga 6 conversions; Turaga penalty) d Falcons 7 (Anthony Matthews 1 try, Nathan Freeman 1 conversion).