Mako secure home semi
By Jonty Dine [Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]
The Tasman Mako will host a Mitre 10 Cup Premiership semi-final next weekend after defeating Otago in Dunedin this afternoon.
The defending champions were made to work in its final outing of the regular season, committing a number of errors in the 26-20 victory.
Otago would open the scoring through winger Freedom Vahaakolo who skinned Finlay Christie for speed to score in the corner.
A long delay would follow as hooker Andrew Makalio was attended to and eventually assisted from the field.
Once play resumed the Mako would strike through a superb interchange between David Havili and Mark Talea before Tim O’Malley showed great pace to get over for Tasman’s first try.
Josh Ioane evened the honours with a penalty however Mitch Hunt would reply right on the siren to send his side to the sheds up 13-10.
Hunt and Ione traded penalties to start the second before Quin Strange muscled his way over to put the Mako 13 ahead with 20 to play.
The Razorbacks weren’t done though as a mistake at the back from Havili gifted Jona Nareki a clean break as he linked with halfback Kayne Hammington to score.
With Otago within six, Tasman tried to close out the game but conceded a penalty right on fulltime to give the hosts a sniff.
Otago would lose the ball from the ensuing lineout however as the Mako survived the late scare to keep their premiership defence hopes alive.
Tasman 26 (Tim O’Malley, Quinten Strange tries, Mitch Hunt 4 pens, 2 cons) defeated Otago 20 (Frredom Vahaakolo, Kayne Hamington tries, Josh Ioane 1 pen, 2 cons)