Makos end losing streak against BOP
Captain Andrew Goodman got to celebrate his 50th outing in the appropriate manner after leading the Tasman Makos to a relieving 17-3 ITM Cup rugby win over Bay of Plenty at Nelson's Trafalgar Park tonight.
It ended a three-match losing streak by Tasman, while also keeping them on target for a home championship semifinal.
However, it heaped the pressure back on premiership team Bay of Plenty as they continue to flirt with the threat of relegation.
Fullback Tom Marshall capped a period of early Tasman pressure with the game's opening try, winger Peter Betham and powerful No 8 Jordan Taufua both featuring in the buildup with telling breaks to help the home team to a 7-0 lead after nine minutes.
Bay of Plenty wasted a golden opportunity to equalise when fullback Nick McCashin dropped a pass from winger Lelia Masaga with the line open seven minutes later.
A Marshall penalty stretched Tasman's lead to 10-0, before Bay of Plenty finally got on the board with a penalty to McCashin at 10-3 after 24 minutes.
Winger Robbie Malneek sparked Tasman's second try, breaking cleanly into Bay of Plenty's quarter before he was upended near the line, hooker Quentin MacDonald on hand to score as Tasman increased their lead to 17-3 at the break.
Betham, Malneek and Marshall were constant threats and Taufua and lock Riki Hoeata prominent in Tasman's forward effort during an enterprising first half performance.
Tasman's scrum was also dominant, Bay of Plenty twice undone by poor handling with the defensive line broken.
Tasman's defence was put under severe pressure after the restart as they were forced to repel a series of attacking lineouts.
But the home team responded superbly as Tasman continued to repel Bay of Plenty's attacks Tasman still struggled to get their hands on the ball as a desperate Bay of Plenty started to run out of ideas.
Then suddenly it was over, Goodman's team mates mobbing their skipper after a scoreless second half.
Tasman 17 (Tom Marshall, Quentin MacDonald tries, Marshall pen, 2 cons) Bay of Plenty 3 (Nick McCashin pen) Ht 17-3.
What did you make of this year's ITM Cup?