Tasman Makos rout Bay of Plenty in Tauranga
The Tasman Makos continued their record-breaking start to the season with a 56-27 national provincial championship rugby win over Bay of Plenty in Tauranga on Sunday.
Having put a record 35 points on Hawkes Bays the previous week, their 56 points against Bay of Plenty easily eclipsed the 41 points they'd scored in Blenheim on 2010.
It was by no means a clinical performance with several defensive lapses also allowing Bay of Plenty to pick up a bonus point with four tries. But Tasman's seven-try effort saw them finish clearly ahead, with No 10 Marty Banks also finishing the match with 26 points.
Bay of Plenty made the perfect start, swooping on a Tasman turnover after just a minute of play to send prop Kane Hames surging across out wide. However, their 7-0 lead was short-lived when Tasman hooker Quentin MacDonald intercepted an attempted long pass by Bay of Plenty No 10
Dan Hollinson just outside their quarter to run in between the posts just four minutes later.
A Hollinshead penalty restored Bay of Penty's lead at 10-7 after 15 minutes, but the tit-for-tat continued when Banks again levelled up at 10-10 moments later.
Tasman finally gained their first lead of the match when centre Kieron Fonotia split the defence from an attacking lineout and drew the final defender before putting his miefield partner Tom Marshall across for their second try and a 17-10 advantage. A Banks penalty pushed Tasman's lead to 10 points before they began to open up out wide, flanker Shane Christie then Fonotia both scoring within five minutes of each other to seriously distance themselves at 34-10 after 33 minutes.
Bay of Plenty caught Tasman napping right on the break through, a midfield break by No 12 Doug Edwards and several phases eventually creating space for hooker Joe Royal out wide as Tasman took a 34-15 lead into halftime.
The home team continued their momentum directly after the restart, Hollinshead splitting Tasman's defence from a defensive lineout. Two passes and 80m later, winger Tino Nemani lunged across for an excellent try as Tasman's lead slipped to 34-20.
Tasman struggled with their accuracy early in the second half as Bay of Plenty inreased their intensity. But they eventually reasserted their domminace when fullback James Lowe finished off a perfectly executed set phase move from an attacking scrum.
Bay of Plenty refused to lie down, substitute loosie Johan Bardoul crashing across from an attacking lineout to reduced Tasman's lead to 39-27 with 10 minutes remaining.
Banks added a 76th-minute try, with winger David Havili scoring at the end of another 80m movement to end the game.
Tasman Makos 56 (Quentin MacDonald, Tom Marshall, Shane Christie, Kieron Fonotia, James Lowe, Marty Banks, David Havili tries, Banks 3 pens, 6 cons) Bay of Plenty 27 (Kane Hames, Joe Royal, Tino Nemani, Johan Bardoul tries, Dan Hollinshead pen, 2 cons) Ht 34-15.