Tasman sure are going to miss Sevu Reece and Will Jordan when they're plucked from the Mitre 10 Cup and are in camp with the All Blacks.
The pair accounted for half of Tasman's eight tries in their 54-21 romp against Northland in Blenheim on Friday night.
Reece bagged a hat-trick and Jordan also crossed in the bonus point win, which ensured Tasman remained unbeaten in Blenheim since 2015.
But both Reece and Jordan, and flanker Shannon Frizell and prop Tyrel Lomax, might not feature a heck of a lot more for the Mako this year, given the All Blacks go into camp next week to start preparing for the opening Bledisloe Cup test in three weeks.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman wing Sevu Reece scored three tries against Northland in Blenheim on Friday night.
The good news is the reigning champions have ample depth, highlighted by the return of utility back and captain David Havili against Northland.
It was Havili's first match since breaking his thumb halfway through Super Rugby Aotearoa with the Crusaders, and he can be credited for setting up Jordan's try with a smart cross-field kick to Fetuli Paea.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman flanker Shannon Frizell on the charge against Northland in Blenheim on Friday night.
The Mako weren't at their clinical best, but were still far too good for the Taniwha as they bagged their 14th straight win.
Their lineout was scratchy, they were guilty of being a fraction too lateral with ball in hand during the first half, and their discipline wasn't flash.
However, their scrum was dominant, repeatedly marching all over the visitors, courtesy of Isi Tu’ungafasi and Lomax flexing their muscles.
That set the platform for Paea to crash over early in the second half as the Mako kicked on from their 19-7 halftime lead.
But, despite being outmatched and on the back foot for much of the night, Northland did have their moments.
Flanker Tom Robinson setup Harrison Levien with a dash down the left-hand touch, while prop Luatangi Li flopped over to finish off a lineout drive.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
Sevu Reece hasn’t taken long to shine for Tasman in his first season with them.
But Reece, having moments earlier failed to dive on a Jordan grubber in-goal, had the last laugh when he scored his third with five minutes to play.
Reece’s first was just two minutes into the game, after Jordan cut the visitors open with his trademark speed.
Pivot Mitch Hunt also played a hand, putting Jordan into space, before the classy fullback fed Reece and he dived over inside the right-hand flag.
Hunt also played a hand in Tasman's second, when he picked out wing Leicester Fainga’anuku with a cross-field kick.
Fainga’anuku had to work for it, but superbly plucked the ball out of the air and grounded it inside the chalk with a defender breathing down his neck.
Hooker Andrew Makalio powered over from close range to nab his third try of the young season and the rout looked on inside half an hour.
However, a week after wiping out an early deficit and beating the Turbos, the Taniwha weren’t about to throw in the towel down 19-0.
On the back of five penalties, they pitched a tent inside Tasman's 22 and flanker Kara Pryor powered over on the halftime hooter.
Tasman 54 (Sevu Reece 3, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Andrew Makalio, Fetuli Paea, Will Jordan, Jacob Norris tries; Mitch Hunt 5 con, Tim O'Malley 2 con) def Northland 21 (Kara Pryor, Harrison Levien, Luatangi Li tries; Wiseguy Faiane 3 con). HT: 19-7