Fans give Makos a big send-off

MICHELLE SUTTON
Last updated 10:21 31/08/2012
Makos fans
COLIN SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

BRING IT HOME: Tasman Makos supporters, led by the hammerheads hard core, farewell the team at Nelson Airport this morning.

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They may have lacked in numbers but spirited fans made up for it with a noisy send-off and strict instructions to Tasman Makos rugby players this morning - bring it home.

About 30 rugby fans, led by rowdy supporters the Hammerheads, cheered on Tasman Makos players as they boarded their plane to New Plymouth this morning to challenge Taranaki for the Ranfurly Shield tomorrow.

It is only the team’s second chance at bringing home the coveted shield. Last time, in 2008, they lost to Wellington 20-26 in the final minutes.

"I'm confident, very confident we'll win," said Hammerheads member Dylan Bennett who is leading the fans’ charge to watch the game in New Plymouth. He predicted a 28-18 win to the Makos.

A quietly confident captain Andrew Goodman said the team would do their best to deliver that score.

"It sounds pretty good, it'll be very close, we’ll take a win by one point but 10 would be nice," said Goodman.

Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Andrew Flexman said: "This type of opportunity doesn't present itself everyday for a rugby player so go out there and seize the day.

"I think the key to success is composure."

This weekend’s battle for rugby supremacy will take place on and off the field in New Plymouth as about 30 Tasman fans are also heading to Taranaki to support their team, despite it considered the underdog.

Mr Bennett was also confident those attending the game would make their presence felt in New Plymouth and out-cheer rival supporters Taranaki's Amber Army.

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- The Marlborough Express

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