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Taranaki Whio defeat Mako for second win in the Farah Palmer Cup

Taranaki Whio defeat Mako for second win in the FPC

By Will Johnston [Stuff]

The Taranaki Whio claimed their second win of the Farah Palmer Cup when they beat Tasman 34-12 at Inglewood’s TET Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In what was just the third outing between the two teams, Taranaki scored six tries to two.

Chelsea Fowler scores a try under the posts.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Chelsea Fowler scores a try under the posts.

They backed up their first win in the competition at the same ground last year, when they beat North Harbour 32-29.

Taranaki bagged 17 unanswered points after leading 17-12 at half-time in their best performance to date.

Captain Chelsea Fowler was blown away by the team’s third round performance.

“[It’s] just amazing. We worked so hard for this, and the girls just had all that self-belief and we’re on our home soil, so it feels so good to be here,” she told Sky Sport.

Tasman's  Easter Salelio is held up by Taranaki defence.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Tasman's Easter Salelio is held up by Taranaki defence.

Fowler scored a try herself in the second half after receiving a pass from player of the match Aroha Nuku.

“She’s a workhorse,” she said of Nuku, who scored two tries.

“I know and trust she’s going to be with me. We know how to support one another.”

Jayme Ngaia running strong.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Jayme Ngaia running strong.

Nuku also gained several meters up field for Taranaki and played a pivotal role off the back of the solid scrum.

Fowler said the many young players in the squad fit in and bring energy.

Tamara Silcock reaching for the ball in a lineout.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Tamara Silcock reaching for the ball in a lineout.

Taranaki’s ball handling was excellent, aided by the perfect conditions.

The backline was able to move the ball freely and put the wingers, 16-year-old Keighly Simpson and Paige Neilson, into space.

Aroha Nuku, of Taranaki Whio, charging on attack.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Aroha Nuku, of Taranaki Whio, charging on attack.

Unfortunately, Neilson left the field in the first half with a dislocated shoulder.

Simpson scored a second-half try on her wing after quick thinking from halfback Kelsyn McCook.

Hannah McLean, of Taranaki Whio, brushing through a tackle as she is about to score.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Hannah McLean, of Taranaki Whio, brushing through a tackle as she is about to score.

Tiana Davison and Hannah McLean scored a try each in the first half.

McLean had just come on for Neilson and immediately made a difference, while she also tackled well when Tasman were on attack.

First-five eight Chloe Sampson kicked two conversions from six attempts.

For Tasman, Eve Findlay scored a try on her wing and Samoan sevens representative Sui Pauaraisa dotted down before halftime. Findlay was able to convert the second conversion.

Hannah Kelly, of Tasman Mako, passes from the scrum.
LISA BURD/STUFF
Hannah Kelly, of Tasman Mako, passes from the scrum.

Taranaki travel to North Harbour next weekend, while Tasman are in Northland in round four.

Taranaki Whio 34 (T Davison, H McLean, C Fowler, K Simpson A Nuku 2 tries; C Sampson 2 con) Tasman 12 (E Finlay, M Pauaraisa tries; Finlay con) HT: 17-12.