The Tasman Mako responded emphatically to its loss to Auckland last week, hammering Taranaki 53-17 in Nelson tonight.
BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]
A powerful performance form the pack laid the platform for a dominant performance from the Mako who ran in seven tries to see the side move into second equal on the premiership table.
Man of the match Pari Pari Parkinson says the Mako needed to front up physically after last weekends disappointing loss.
"We put a lot of emphasis on the breakdown and those contact battles, we let Auckland get on top of us last week."
The Mako opened the scoring through the boot of Mitch Hunt as Tasman dominated the amber and blacks a early on but handling errors were letting the hosts down.
Fullback Will Jordan looked lethal with ball in hand as the Mako began to enjoy a wealth of possession.
Mitch Hunt missed his second shot at goal but didn’t take long to make up for the blemish, splitting the Taranaki wide open to set up Tyrel Lomax who muscled his way over from short range for the game’s first try.
Beaudein Waaka opened Taranaki’s account with a penalty goal before Andrew Makalio scored the second for the hosts, the hooker powering through two defenders and stretching out to dot down under the bar.
Makalio was over for another moments later after he burst through the defence once again off a short Finlay Christie pass.
Hunt slotted his third conversion as momentum was well and truly with the Mako who took a commanding 24-3 lead at halftime.
Returning Mako centre Levi Aumua had a strong opening forty, proving a headache on defence and attack for Taranaki while Ethan Blackadder was immense in the tight.
Taranaki’s woes continued after the break, lucky to escape a yellow card after a failed intercept attempt halted a promising attack for the Mako, Hunt extending the lead to 27-3.
David Havili then drove the dagger in further, snatching an intercept just as Taranaki looked its most threating, the Mako captain streaking 80 metres to score the fourth for the home side.
Taranaki finally cracked the resolute Mako defence, rookie five eight Ciarhan Matoe slipping through to score the visitor’s first after 60 minutes of Tasman dominance.
The Mako responded with the try of the night, coming off a storming bust and offload from Pari Pari Parkinson to set Hunt away.
Tasman then rang the changes as the scoreline began to blow out, Christie, Makalio, Havili, Hunt and Wyatt Crockett all coming to the sideline after strong performances.
Kane Thompson pulled one back for the Bulls before Jordan was rewarded for his superb all-round effort with his fourth try of the season.
Tasman brought up half a century through Solomon Alaimalo, the blockbusting winger exploding through a gap after a relatively quiet night to give the Mako a 53-17 victory.
Parkinson says while pleased with the performance, the key moving forward will be finding consistency. "We have got to come back next week and do the job again, this competition is a long haul."
The big lock says he is loving his time in Nelson. "I've come back from Dunners and there is a lot more sun up here, it's good to be back."
Next week will see the Mako travel to Palmerston North to take on the Manawatu Turbos on Wednesday night.
Kick off 7.35pm.
Mako 53 (Andrew Makalio 2, Tyrel Lomax, David Havili, Mitch Hunt, Will Jordan, Solomon Alaimalo tries, Hunt 5 cons 2 pens, Tim O’Malley 1 con) v Taranaki 17 (Ciarhan Matoe, Kane Thompson tries, Beaudein Waaka 2 cons, 1 pens)