How impressive was the turnout at Blenheim for the Counties match on Sunday? Blenheim turned on the weather and over 7,000 fans had a ball decked out in their red & blue cheering on the Makos, while getting a 50 minute look at Sonny Bill Williams.
The northern embankment looked impressive with a line of corporate marquees while 120 ladies enjoyed the Yealands Wines & Thomas’s Ladies Day marquee in all their finery. The stands were packed.
The Makos showed glimpses of their magic, the Robbie Malneek try being a prime example, but in the main it was an error ridden performance, going down by 16 - 21.
Counties-Manukau 21 (Puliasi Manu, Mike Stanley, Jordan Taufua tries, Ahsee Tuala con, Stanley 2 cons) v Tasman 16 (Robbie Malneek try, Rohan Saifoloi 3 pens, Marty Banks con) HT: 7-9.
No 8 Vernon Fredericks picked up his second Mako Man award in a row, as voted for by the players and team management, for his excellent match at blindside flanker.
The match began with Tasman in sight of a top of the table finish in their first season of ITM Cup Premiership rugby. Taranaki had lost to Canterbury leaving the door open where a win or a draw would have secured to seeding.
It is still a remarkable achievement to have secured second spot and a home semi-final. It would be churlish not to celebrate this truly successful and entertaining regional team. They really have been our Mighty Makos.
The Makos next home game is this Saturday at 7.05pm when our mighty Makos contest the ITM Cup Premiership semi-final against Canterbury. Gates open at 5pm with pre-match entertainment by the Lee Fern Band.
It will be a big crowd so get here early and enjoy the music, food and beverages.
Fins Up, Marko