Website proudly created by

Mako women open with 65-12 win over Taranaki Whio

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. HT: 34-0.