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Mako splash their way to win against Steamers in Nelson

Tasman’s Louie Chapman is tackled during his team’s non-competition match against Bay of Plenty in Nelson on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman’s Louie Chapman is tackled during his team’s non-competition match against Bay of Plenty in Nelson on Sunday.

Perhaps it was just as well competition points weren’t on the line in Nelson on Sunday afternoon.

The Mako splashed their way to an ugly 26-9 win over Bay of Plenty in the first non-competition match since the demise of the three Auckland teams resulted in the introduction of them.

Tasman turned around a 9-0 half-time deficit, scoring three tries in the final quarter through Andrew Knewstubb, impressive wing Timoci Tavatavanawai and hooker Quentin MacDonald.

Aided by a strong wind, the hosts dominated possession and territory in the second half and simply finished over the top of the Steamers on a day both teams rested a raft of first string players.

On loan from Canterbury, Kiwi sevens ace Knewstubb cashed in a Steamers error deep inside their own half for five points in the 60th minute, before Tavatavanawai slid over out wide after pivot Campbell Parata dished a sublime long ball in the wet eight minutes later.

Hooker MacDonald smashed his way over the line in the final minute to ice the win in miserable conditions.

Tasman’s Maxwell Hicks tackles Bay of Plenty pivot Te Aihe Toma in Nelson on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman’s Maxwell Hicks tackles Bay of Plenty pivot Te Aihe Toma in Nelson on Sunday.

Indeed, it was anything but sunny Nelson, as heavy rain made for a bleak old spectacle at a soggy Trafalgar Park.

That said, Parata showed his class with some nice touches after he was given an opportunity to pull on the No 10 jersey with Mitch Hunt rested.

Kiwi-born Parata was one of Australia’s most promising schoolboy rugby players, and was snapped up by the Crusaders and Tasman in 2018.

With rain pelting down, it was a wonder Bay of Plenty managed to stitch 11 phases together in the first half, before loose forward Veveni Lasaqua was bundled into touch a couple of metres from the line.

No side got closer to scoring a five-pointer in the first 40, although Tasman did launch a couple of raids inside the Steamers 22 on the stroke of half-time, only to be rebuffed.

Tasman midfielder Alex Nankivell carts the ball forward against Bay of Plenty in Nelson on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman midfielder Alex Nankivell carts the ball forward against Bay of Plenty in Nelson on Sunday.

Bay of Plenty pivot Te Aihe Toma did all the first half scoring, pinging over three penalty goals, including one after flanker Tevita Koloamatangi was yellow carded for offside play, for a half-time lead,

While Tasman coughed up the ball nine times in the first 51 minutes, the majority of them inside the visitors’ 22, it was always going to be a matter of time before they turned their dominance into points.

Tasman 26 (Andrew Knewstubb, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Quentin MacDonald tries; Campbell Parata 3 pen, con) v Bay of Plenty 9 (Te Aihe Toma 3 pen). HT: 0-9