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Tasman Mako women squad named for Farah Palmer Cup

BY PETER JONES [Marlborough App]

Nine of the champion Moutere club side have been named in the 2018 Tasman Mako women’s squad, to play in the Farah Palmer Cup [FPC] competition.

Moutere went through the season unbeaten, winning a thrilling grand final 22-14 over Waimea Old Boys at Lansdowne Park to repeat their title win from 2017.

Pippa Andrews, Leti Fotumoala, Hayley Hutana, Aieisha Tepuia, Kelly Couper, Kelly Stanford, Alexa Fraser, Ashleigh Nathan and Niska Scott are the Moutere Magpies chosen in the squad - Andrews, Fotumoala, Couper, Stanford, Scott and Nathan having been involved last year.

Waimea OB contribute six players to the 26-strong Mako mix, Marist six, Motueka High School four with a guest player from Bay of Plenty rounding out the squad. Three more players are still to be named.

Twelve teams will contest the 2018 FPC. They will be split across two divisions;premiership and championship with 16 matches being broadcast live.

Canterbury hold the provincial silverware after claiming a maiden Farah Palmer Cup title and and the JJ Stewart Trophy last year.

They will be joined in the premiership division by last year's championship winners Bay of Plenty, along with Counties Manukau, Waikato, Auckland and Manawatu.

Wellington, Otago, North Harbour, Tasman, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki make up the championship.

Teams play each opposition in their own division and one cross-over match throughout the six-week round-robin.

Tasman made their FPC debut last season, winning just once (their final match against Hawke's Bay) during a testing season. 

They kick off their 2018 championship division campaign on September 1 with a match against Taranaki at Motueka, then meet Auckland (away on Sept 7), Wellington (at Trafalgar Park on Sept 23), Hawke’s Bay (away on Sept 30) and Otago, at Lansdowne Park on October 6.

The FPC semis are on October 20, the final on October 27.

The 2018 Mako women: Pippa Andrews, Leti Fotumoala, Hayley Hutana, Aieisha Tepuia, Kelly Couper, Kelly Stanford, Alexa Fraser, Ashleigh Nathan, Niska Scott (Moutere); Tessa Silcock, Katie Silcock, Dana Wilson, Staci Kohe, Michelle Curry, Tamara Silcock (Marist); Demi Salton, Anna Bradley, Stephani Mitchell, Louise Nalder, Juanita Thompson, Jess Foster-Lawrence (Waimea Old Boys; Peri Beech, Hannah Kelly, Erica Saunders, Rheanna Wood (Motueka HS); Crystal Hayes (Bay of Plenty). Three to be added. Coaches Marty O’Cain, Mark Kelly. Manager Koren Grason.