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Tasman captain Havili shines as Mako thrash Southland 47-10

Tasman captain shines as Mako thrash Southland

By Robert van Royen [Stuff]

If Tasman Mako fans weren’t thankful David Havili hadn’t been dragged away by the All Blacks before Sunday’s game against Southland, they certainly will be now.

Havili was instrumental in the Mako’s 47-10 bonus point romp against the Stags in Nelson, a crucial bounce-back win after last week's heavy loss to Auckland.

The Mako captain scored two tries, played a starring role in another, and was a constant nuisance for the visitors with his running and offloading game.

Centre Fetuli Paea also scored two second half tries, while powerful wing Leicester Fainga’anuku ran amok, helping propel the Mako clear of the pesky Stags at Trafalgar Park.

The seven tries to one win wasn’t as convincing as the final scoreline reads, not after Tasman led by just 7-3 at the split, and 14-10 early in the second half.

Before finally getting into a groove, the hosts had all sorts of problems with Southland’s defence, which only conceded 10 tries in their previous six games.

Tasman captain David Havili scores the first of his two tries against Southland on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman captain David Havili scores the first of his two tries against Southland on Sunday.

But Tasman, sparked by Havili’s individual try, when he bumped off halfback Liam Howley and dashed over from 20 metres out, proved far too good in their alternative kit, marking the Golden Bay-Motueka Rugby Union’s 100th year,

They scored three of their tries in the final eight minutes to blow the score out, and have now beaten Southland eight straight times since their 2010 defeat.

Tasman wing Mark Telea on the charge against the Stags in Nelson on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES

Tasman wing Mark Telea on the charge against the Stags in Nelson on Sunday.

The Stags have dropped four straight and their championship semifinal hopes are fading.

Their inability to score points continues to haunt them. With just seven tries to their name in six games before Sunday, they added only a Tony Lamborn pick-and-go try in their latest match.

Tasman No 8 Taina Fox-Matamua scores a try against Southland on Sunday.
EVAN BARNES/GETTY IMAGES
Tasman No 8 Taina Fox-Matamua scores a try against Southland on Sunday.

Tasman’s first half performance would best be described as wasteful.

Because despite having the wind at their back, the ball for 65 per cent of the first 40 minutes, and enjoying a 70 per cent territorial advantage, they only mustered a 7-3 halftime lead.

They were too lateral on attack against the best defence in the competition, slinging the ball wide in a bid to out-flank the Stags.

No 8 Taina Fox-Matamua scored the only first half try in the 21st minute, showing how it’s done by running hard and straight from close-range.

But the Mako should have scored at least three more tries, only for Sione Havili to be penalised for scoring from an offside position, and Isaac Ross, starting his first NPC game since 2010, to knock on in the process of diving over the chalk.

But perhaps the worst blunder was made by Blues wing Mark Telea, who ignored two unmarked Mako outside him and opted to go alone.

He knocked on attempting to offload a moment later, wasting a 40-metre dash by loosehead prop Ryan Coxon, who even sold a beaut of a dummy on his way into the Stags’ 22.

Southland, via a Greg Dyer penalty goal, had the final say of the half on the back of Tasman replacement prop Isaac Salmon conceding a couple of scrum penalties.

Tasman 47 (Taina Fox-Matamua, David Havili 2, Fetuli Paea 2, Mitch Hunt, Sione Havili tries; Mitch Hunt 4 con, Tim O’Malley 2 con) def Southland 10 (Tony Lamborn try; Greg Dyer pen, con). HT: 7-3

MVP Points: David Havili 3, Leicester Fainga’anuku 2, Fetuli Paea 1.