Hi Makos FINatics.
The pre-season matches and activities are now over and it’s time to buckle up for the fast and furious ride that the ITM Cup season is. 10 weeks of rugby that includes 10 regular season matches plus semis and Final!
This past week, mixed in with preparing for and playing a pre-season match against Wellington, were a number of community activities including a Kids Day to meet the Makos on Lansdowne after school on Wednesday and visiting a number of sponsors and supporting Diabetes Awareness day.
Then on Friday the full Tasman Makos squad was announced at a Meet the Sponsors event at the Turf Hotel in Stoke. The evening was special for those who attended as Joe Wheeler once again did a fine job of introducing the players, and skipper Shane Christie set the tone with his talk on the challenges ahead.
Murray Sturgeon, of principal sponsor Golden Edge, closed on behalf of all Sponsors in wishing the team all the very best for their season ahead.
The players were provided an incentive by Mondo Travel in the form of an Air France trip for two to Paris for the player elected by the team players and management as this year’s Makoman, awarded to the player who contributes to the team’s cause most both on and off the field. The players appreciated the incentive provided by Tony Terrill of Mondo and Air France.
The 2015 Tasman Makos Squad is:
Alex Ainley, Marty Banks, Shane Christie, Jimmy Cowan, Kieron Fonotia, Vernon Fredericks, Ross Geldenhuys, Billy Guyton, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Kane Hames, David Havili, Monty Ioane, Trael Joass, Tevita Koloamatangi, Marco Kotze, Jeff Lepa, Viliami Lolohea, James Lowe, Jesse MacDonald, Quentin MacDonald, Robbie Malneek, Alex Nankivell, Tim Perry, Trent Renata, Pete Samu, Mitchell Scott, Liam Squire, Jake Stafford-Wood, Joe Wheeler.
As for the pre-season match the night before in Blenheim, it was a classic game of two halves with Wellington dominating the first half 31-5 and the Makos taking out the second 12-nil.
Even this mascot dived deep for cover when head coach Kieran Keane described his side's first half effort.
"We were really poor, scary poor. Mentally we weren't there. A couple of our plays early in the game were plucked out of thin air somewhere and we got beaten up physically, and challenged mentally … we just didn't front. It's another wake-up call and perhaps the honeymoon is fairly and squarely over."
The next team meeting will be no place for the faint hearted, but will set the tone and standards expected.
Wellington Lions 31 (Vaea Fifita 2, Brad Shields, Shaun Treeby, Jonathan Bentley tries, Bentley 3 con) v Tasman Makos 17 (David Havili, Tone Ng Shiu, Kieron Fonotia tries, Marty Banks con) Ht 31-5.
So now our attention moves to the first ITM Cup home game in Hamilton on Friday night against Waikato. This will be followed by two match at home in a row – on Friday 21 August in Nelson against Bay of Plenty, and then the following Thursday 27 August in Blenheim against Manawatu.
The boys will really appreciate you loud and passionate support.
The best bet as always is to pre-purchase your tickets before getting to the ground.
Ticketing outlets this season are Floorpride Civic Theatre in Blenheim, Nelson i-Site, Richmond Mall and your nearest NBS branch or you can buy easily online at www.makos.co.nz
For ITM Cup, even though RWCA Kids 12 Years & Younger are Free they will need to be ticketed with a paying customer (4 kids per adult) so we can keep track of our attendance data and keep everyone safe and accounted for.
I’ll see you there at Shark Park on Friday week.
CarCo the Mako
CarCo the Mako is proudly supported by the The Car Company and will be at community and other sporting events throughout the season as well as at all home matches.