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2013 ITM CUP


Kieran Keane

Asst. Coach:

Leon MacDonald


Jenelle Strickland

Asst. Manager:

Brett Thornalley

Promotion to the premiership was merely a by-product of the excellence of rugby produced by Tasman who delivered a record breaking year. Prior to this season Tasman had scored 40 points or more on five occasions in ITM Cup Rugby. They added another five match totals of greater than 40 this year, including twice passing the previous record for points in a match.

Newcomer from Buller Marty Banks had a stellar season rewriting theTasman record books for point scoring. His season culminated in being named one of NZ Rugby Almanack’s five players of the year (2014 issue).
Tasman defeated every team that held the Ranfurly Shield in 2013.

Creative fullback Robbie Malneek added to his team’s try scoring record. There was speed aplenty on the wings in Bryce Heem, James Lowe and Mitchell Scott. More frequently than many other teams, Tasman was able to turn that speed into tries. Kieron Fonotia continues to provide security at centre. Although he would prefer playing fullback Tom Marshall provided excellence at second five eighth. It took a while to recognise the value of former North Otago midfielder Billy Guyton who finished the season a top performing halfback.
Shane Christie captained the team, mostly from open side flank, setting the high standards his team followed. Liam Squire, whether at blindside flank or number eight was one of the most improved forwards in the competition, using his speed to great advantage. Reliable Tevita Koloamatangi’s season peaked at the right time. Gary Redmond was an aggressive reserve loose forward. The regular locking pair of veteran Alex Ainley and the tall Joe Wheeler earned respect in every game. It would be great to see Wheeler get serious time in Super Rugby. Tasman had a solid front row – Quentin MacDonald regarded as one of the better hookers in the country was an automatic choice. Tim Perry brought new Super Rugby experience to the loose head position. Sila Puafisi was the first choise at tight head where former Aucklander, Siua Halanukonuka, provided excellent cover.

Tasman Makos 2013 NPC draw.

  Home Game 
1 Makos VS Southland Invercargill Sat 17 Aug, 5:35pm 2013 W 25 - 15
(Tries: James Lowe 2; Pens: Andy Symons 2, Billy Guyton 3) v Southland 15 (Pens: Scott Eade 5)
Makos VS Canterbury
Lansdowne Park, Blenheim Sat 24 Aug, 2:35pm 2013 L 13 - 28
(Tries: James Lowe, Kaide Whiting; Pen: Andy Symons)
Makos VS Counties Manukau Pukekohe
Fri 30 Aug, 7:35 2013 W 40 - 20
(Tries: Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Kieron Fonotia, Tom Marshall; Pen 4 & Con 4: Marty Banks)
Makos VS Otago
Trafalgar Park, Nelson Fri 06 Sep, 7:35pm 2013 W 49 - 16
(Tries: James Lowe 2, Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Tevita Koloamatangi, Mitchell Scott; Pen 3 & Con 5: Marty Banks)
Makos VS North Harbour North Harbour Fri 13 Sep, 8:05pm 2013 L 12 - 23
(Pen 4: Marty Banks)
Makos VS Hawke’s Bay
Trafalgar Park, Nelson Sun 22 Sep, 2:35pm 2013 W 18 - 9
(Tries: Shane Christie, Liam Squire; Pen: Tom Marshall; Pen & Con: Billy Guyton)
Makos VS Northland Whangarei
Thu 26 Sep, 4:35pm 2013 W 28 - 13
(Try: Marty Banks; Pen 7 & Con: Marty Banks)
Makos VS Waikato
Trafalgar Park, Nelson Wed 02 Oct, 7:15pm 2013 W 64 - 28
(Tries: Liam Squire 2, Mitchell Scott, Robbie Malneek, Tom Marshall, Joe Wheeler, James Lowe, Tevita Koloamatangi; Pen 4 & Con 6: Marty Banks)
Makos VS Taranaki
New Plymouth
Sun 06 Oct, 4:35pm 2013 W 27 - 20
(Tries: Joe Wheeler, Mitchell Scott; Pen 5 & Con: Billy Guyton)
10 Makos VS Manawatu Lansdowne Park, Blenheim Sun 13 Oct, 4:35pm 2013 W 57 - 14
(Tries: Tim Perry 2, Marty Banks 2, Billy Guyton, Mitchell Scott, Francis Smith, Andy Symons; Pen & Con 7: Marty Banks)
11 Makos VS Southland Lansdowne Park, Blenheim Sat 19 Oct, 4:35pm 2013 W 49 - 28
(Tries: Tevita Koloamatangi, Liam Squire, Mitchell Scott, Bryce Heem, Robbie Malneek, Marty Banks; Pen 3 & Con 5: Marty Banks)
Makos VS Hawke’s Bay
Trafalgar Park, Nelson Fri 25 Oct, 7:35pm 2013 W 26 - 25
(Tries: Bryce Heem, Liam Squire, Marty Banks; Pen 3 & Con: Marty Banks)

Played 12 I Won 10 I Drawn 0 I Lost 2 I Points for 408 I Points Against 236






Marty Banks





Billy Guyton





Liam Squire



James Lowe



Mitchell Scott



Shane Christie



Tevita Koloamatangi



Andy Symons




Tom Marshall




Robbie Malneek



Joe Wheeler



Bryce Heem



Tim Perry



Kieron Fonotia



Kaide Whiting



Francis Smith








2013 season

Culminating with winning the ITM Cup Championship Final, 2013 was the most remarkable season in the Tasman Makos eight years since inception. Team and personal bests have been broken at every turn.

Right from the start of planning coaches Kieran Keane and Leon MacDonald knew they were onto something special. The squad being assembled included 18 players who had previously been with the Makos and so they knew the philosophy and systems espoused by KK & Leon.

There were a core of players who had ITM Cup match experience of between 30 ~ 50 games. Three of these – Quentin MacDonald, Joe Wheeler and Alex Ainley – joined the 50 Game Blazer group during the season (a select group also comprising Robbie Malneek, Jonathan Poff, Mark Bright and Andrew Goodman).

The support team has been largely intact for a number of seasons with coach Keane, manager Jenelle Strickland and sports scientist Brodie Hewlett also earning their 50 Game Blazers (joining assistant manager Brett Thornalley and physio Candace Donovan).

With such a strong core at their disposal the team embarked on the 2013 season with confidence.

The 10 win – 2 loss record to date is a best ever with an amazing 7 wins in a row. The previous best sequence was just two. Twice this team has put 50 points on their opposition with another two games where 49 points were posted.

In the process they have scored a remarkable 41 tries, many of which were indeed remarkable. 39 penalties and 30 conversions rounded out the scoring. The team scored 382 points for and conceded 214.

Marty Banks, called into the squad following a couple of injuries, attracted a bit of a cult following in scoring 170 points in just 8 games. Liam Squire scored 7 tries, a best ever feat in our 8 year history.

The coaches named Quentin MacDonald as their Player of the Year, Liam Squire was named Defender of the Year whilst Joe Wheeler was voted by the players as Makoman of the Year. These three were outstanding but so were all 28 players who pulled on the Mighty Makos jersey this season.

Three players, Shane Christie, Joe Wheeler & Liam Squire were selected for the Maori All Blacks tour of North America while Quentin MacDonald was selected as a late injury replacement.  Seven players earned Super Rugby contracts: Tim Perry (Crusaders), Joe Wheeler & Shane Christie (Highlanders), Marty Banks (Hurricanes), Tom Marshall, James Lowe & Liam Squire (Chiefs).

The History

2019 Mitre 10 Cup

After just 14 seasons, the Tasman Mako have reached the pinnacle of New Zealand provincial rugby. The Premiership final victory must rank as the finest day for rugby at the top of the South Island since Marlborough stunned the nation with the 1973 Ranfurly Shield upset of Canterbury.

2019 Farah Palmer Cup

Tasman won two games and are gradually gaining experience in the Farah Palmer Cup competition. Again, the team was led by Jessica Foster-Lawrence and again she was the outstanding forward. Leah Miles, aged 17, is a highly promising flanker

2020 Farah Palmer Cup

The change in competition format to north-south pools meant further issues for Mako, a union still in its infancy in establishing a competitive Farah Palmer Cup squad. This resulted in heavy losses to the well-established teams.

2020 Mitre 10 Cup

The Tasman Mako recorded back-to-back Premiership triumphs — the first province, other than Canterbury, to repeat since Auckland in 2002–03.

2018 Mitre 10 Cup

After finishing the round robin in second place, with their best ever record of nine wins and just one defeat, Tasman’s season ended with a disappointing home defeat to Canterbury in the Premiership semi-final

2018 Farah Palmer Cup

The 65-12 win over Taranaki in the first game was to be the only cause for celebration in 2018, the Mako being well beaten in the other five games. The union lost Rosie Buchanan-Brown to Otago but gained former Manawatu representatives Crystal Mayes and Hayley Hutana

2017 Mitre 10 Cup

For the third time in the last four years, Tasman went all the way to the Premiership Final to indicate a successful season, but it was one of mixed effort.

2017 Farah Palmer Cup

Tasman was a welcome addition to a steadily expanding competition. The debutants produced a very encouraging result in the opening game, against Waikato, then took a hammering from Otago in the second round. The win in the final game, against Hawke’s Bay, would have installed confidence in the team

2016 Mitre 10 Cup

For the second time in three years the Tasman Makos went all the way to the Premiership Final, losing to Canterbury in a gallant effort. There were two defeats in the opening four matches, but after that the side hit form, remaining unbeaten until the Final.

2015 ITM Cup

Hopes of going 1 better than "Cup runners-up" were high. Things started well with 6 wins, but this was followed up by 3 defeats - the last round win over the Naki meant a semi-finals trip to Auckland & they were the "in form" team. All up another good year for the MIGHTY Makos.

2014 ITM CUP

Your Mighty Makos have had a stellar first season in the ITM Cup Premiership. We are proud to host a Semi-Final in our first year playing the Big City Unions. Make home ground advantage count tonight .. let’s have LOTS OF NOISE in support of your MIGHTY TASMAN MAKOS!

2011 ITM CUP

Two wins might seem poor return for the season – but it depends on you point of view. Those two wins were against the eventual Championship winner Hawke’s Bay and Auckland. No other team scored as many as the five tries that Tasman did against eventual Premiership winner Canterbury.

2012 ITM CUP

Beginning the season with a victory over their Crusaders stable mate Canterbury, recording one of the highest scores in an unsuccessful Ranfurly Shield challenge, then another couple of quick wins and here was the making of a good season.

2010 ITM CUP

Until the last game of the season Tasman had provided staunch competition to all opponents. Gone to greener pastures were some of last year’s better performers including captain Andrew Goodman.


Six victories from the first ten matches was a promising start, but results fell away over the last three matches of the competition. Sadly there was always the suspicion that no matter how well Tasman played there was always the threat of relegation at season’s end.


The on field performance of Tasman were in contrast to the off field turbulence surrounding them. The characteristics Todd Blackadder showed as a player and captain – that of calm controlled management – were evident in his performance as Tasman’s coach.


That Tasman scored less and conceded more in the latter part of the season was not an indication of lack of progress but rather it was how the draw had treated them. Name players had come and gone, but in truth the strength of Tasman was in its local players.


Tasman Union was formed from the amalgation of Nelson Bays and Malborough unions with the specific intention of meeting the criteria for the new premier division of New Zealand rugby.