Mako book Trafalgar date
By Peter Jones [Marlborough
Weekly / Marlborough App]
a semifinal rehearsal it left a lot to be desired, but
the Mako got the job done in Dunedin on Saturday.
For the eighth consecutive
season Tasman will feature in the Mitre 10 Cup play-offs.
The Mako have been
around at the business end of the season since 2013, when they made it all the
way to the championship final, then tipped over Hawke’s Bay
to join the premiership.
Their pathway to
the pinnacle of the top tier in 2019 is well documented and
they have earned another tilt at the NPC crown.
They made hard work of
beating a handy Otago outfit 26-20, mixing ill-discipline, errors and
questionable option-taking with enough moments of superb
individual and collective effort to prevail.
Mako co-head coach
Andrew Goodman was relieved to reach another semifinal, suggesting his
team did “what they came down to Dunedin to do”.
“We had to win today, not
only to make the play-offs, but also to get the belief going into the semis.
“It has been a funny old
week, with everyone right in [the semifinal mix] … going through the
“But it’s nice to know that
we will be at home at Trafalgar Park next weekend for a semifinal.
“Whatever four teams end up
in the semis, it’s going to be all about who turns up on the day isn’t it? You
can see that with the results throughout the competition, no-one has grabbed it
by the throat this year.
“We will just have to
prepare well, get the bodies fresh and the minds sharp and look forward to a
good crowd in Nelson. I can’t wait for finals football.”
The depth of
the Mako squad, which has been severely depleted up front by untimely
injuries, retirements and All Blacks commitments, continues to be tested.
“Injuries are part of the
game,” said Goodman, “all squads are going through that.
“Some of our guys that have
come back in the last few weeks are stepping up for us,
like Taina Fox-Matamua who had his best game of the season
today. Anton Segner also brought some good energy when he got on late
… we just have to back the boys and trust they will do their job.”
The Mako will take
on Bay of Plenty in the semifinals after the Steamers scraped past
North Harbour on Sunday.
The well-coached and
super-fit North Islanders will provide a stern test for a Tasman side yet to
fire on all cylinders for the majority of the 80 minutes.
Tasman downed the Bay 33-7
in Nelson during round five, but the Steamers have been on five-match winning
roll since then, including a 44-8 win over Canterbury, who beat Tasman 29-0 two
The Mako based
their earlier win over the Steamers on rugged defence, a dominant scrum and
They will not have to
deviate far from that template to get the job done on Saturday but, as Goodman
suggested, it will all depend on who turns up [mentally and physically] on the
Park semifinal kicks off at 7.05pm. In the other
premiership semi Auckland meet Waikato.