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Mako women outclassed by Otago in season finale

The Tasman women’s rugby team were thoroughly outclassed at Lansdowne Park today in their final match of a testing season. They went down 48-7 to a well-organised Otago side in the Mako’s last match of their Farah Palmer Cup championship campaign.

BY PETER JONES [Marlborough App]

Tasman’s only try coming up as centre Hayley Hutana is brought down close to the Otago line.

The visitors led 33-0 at halftime and seemed well on track to break the half century of points, before Tasman rallied somewhat in the second 40, scoring a consolation try to lift their spirits and holding their rivals to three unconverted tries.

Mako coach Marty O’Cain noted earlier in the week that his side had issues with transitioning effectively from attack to defence and that shortcoming was vividly highlighted again today. The Mako set up many structured attacks, only to lose possession, then be found wanting as Otago found space on the edges and were ruthless in execution.

The visitors were guided around the park superbly by first five Rosie Kelly, helped by a swift service from halfback Rosie Buchanan-Brown, a former Tasman player. Midfielder Greer Muir and loose forwards Zoe Whatarua and Tegan Hollows were also stand-outs, along with front rowers Ellis Doyle, Rebecca Todd and Isla Pringle.

However it was the work of the entire Otago pack that made the difference, their efficiency at set pieces and breakdown, plus aggression on defence, knocking Tasman off their stride.

Tasman’s best were ever-dangerous fullback Crystal Mayes, midfielder Hayley Hutana, skipper Jess Foster Lawrence at No 8 and replacement Demi Salton.

Their try came after a backline reshuffle in the 60thminute, Hutana moving to first receiver and carving through the backline, setting up field position for prop Anna Bradley to crash over.

Now it is on to the FPC semifinals for Otago and back to the drawing board for a brave Tasman side, who showed today they are still finding their feet in the unforgiving environment of top-level provincial rugby.

Scores

Otago 48 (Isla Pringle, Kilistina Moata’ane, Rosie Kelly, Tegan Hollows, Greer Muir 2, Cheyenne Cunningham, Sammy Wong tries, Kelly 4 con) Tasman 7 (Anna Bradley try, Hayley Hutana con). HT 33-0.

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