The Tasman Mako women started their 2018
Farah Palmer Cup rugby campaign in impressive style, blitzing fellow
championship side Taranaki 65-12 at Sports Park, Motueka today.
BY PETER JONES [Marlborough App]
The Mako showed their intent almost from
the kick-off, scoring six first half tries to lead 34-0 at the break. Youngster
Hannah Beech on the wing, one of four Nelson schoolgirls to feature in the
fast-paced clash, picked up the first two.
Immediately after halftime fellow winger
Amelia Hammett scored a hat-trick of touchdown to ensure there would be no
comeback from the ‘Naki women, who were thoroughly outplayed, ultimately
conceding 11 tries.
Mako coach Marty O’Cain admitted he was
surprised by the margin of victory. "It was a little unexpected
actually,” he suggested.
"We have had a bit of a disrupted
build-up … it’s been hard to get the full squad together. We have had to go
over a lot of things and when I sat down with my assistant coach during the
week we said ‘we haven’t done this, we haven’t done that,’ so we were trying to
cram things in and honestly I thought we were under-prepared - but obviously
what we did train on worked for us.
"Last season we had a good
structure but we often ran out of steam, couldn’t follow it through. This year
we tweaked a few things and it seemed to work.”
O’Cain said a few players stood out
among a solid team effort.
"Tamara Silcock at lock went well, Jess Foster-Lawrence played strongly at
6, and No 8 Niska Scott was a bit of an unsung hero. We had two outstanding
backs in Crystal Mayes (15) and Hayley Hutana at centre, their experience was
key to our effort."
He also pointed to the fact that
secondary school students Demi Salton, Rheanna Wood, Hannah Beech, Leah Miles
and Sophie O’Cain were involved, a healthy sign for the future of the women’s
game in the region.
Despite their blazing start, O’Cain said
the girls "have to get their feet back on the ground pretty quickly
because we have Auckland next on Eden Park next Friday evening. That will be
the big test.”
Tasman Mako 65 (Amelia Hammett 3,
Crystal Mayes 2, Hannah Beech 2, Hannah Kelly, Stephani Mitchell, Tamara
Silcock, Michelle Curry tries, Hayley Hutana 5 con) v Taranaki Whio 12.