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2018 Mitre 10 Cup

David Havili
Leon MacDonald
Asst. Coach:
Andrew Goodman, Shane Christie, Clarke Dermody
Martyn Vercoe

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. Leading 13-6 at halftime, the Mako could not maintain their ascendancy in the second half, going down 16-21, with two yellow cards not helping the cause. Since winning the Championship in 2013, Tasman has made the Premiership semi-finals in all five succeeding years, a feat only Canterbury has been able to match in the same period.

Tasman owed much of its success to its strong forward pack, in particular, the performance of the tight five, whose scrummaging, mauling and lineout regularly set the tone for the side’s performance.

Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Makalio and Tyrel Lomax formed one of the best front rows in the country. The retired All Black Crockett was an outstanding scrummager at loosehead, and it was noticeable that when he was subbed off in the semi-final that Tasman’s effort there was reduced. His experience was also invaluable to the young players around him. Andrew Makalio was a forceful tackler, a hard man to stop with ball in hand, and solid performer in his set-piece roles. With a season of Super Rugby behind him, 22-year-old tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax built on last year’s debut season to show considerable improvement, particularly with his mobility, to win All Black’s selection for the test against Japan. All three appeared in every match.

The two young locks 2.04m Pari Pari Parkinson and 1.99m Quinten Strange turned 22 years old during the Mitre 10 Cup. With veteran Alex Ainley battling injury all year and appearing in only the final two matches, the two youngsters probably got more game time than originally planned. Both blossomed with some very fine performances at the heart of the set pieces.

Ethan Blackadder was a tireless worker at blindside flanker, where his attack and defence work was consistently of a high standard, and the only Mako to play every minute of the season. Specialist openside flanker Jed Brown was a valuable acquisition, also doing a lot of the unfashionable work required at the tackle and breakdown.

Number eight Vernon Fredericks had his season end with injury in the opening match. Loan player Taina Fox-Matamua was the best of the replacements used.

At halfback Finlay Christie was in excellent form with his crisp passing, sniping running around the edges and quick decision making. Mitchell Hunt was one of the best first five-eights in the Mitre 10 Cup. He directed the team well with a good balance between kicking, running and moving the ball on. Hunt also passed 100 points for the season with reliable goal-kicking.

Captain David Havili and Levi Aumua were a very effective midfield partnership with contrasting styles. The 118 kg centre Aumua was always difficult to contain with his strong direct running while Havili showed good line-breaking ability and distribution.

At fullback, 20-year-old Will Jordan was top try scorer with nine tries. His sensational running skills, allied with pace, were all on display again. He possesses a good clearing kick, but his tackling was inconsistent.

New arrival Solomon Alaimalo was the best of the wings. He did not reach the excellent form he displayed for the Chiefs in Super Rugby, but was always dangerous, particularly from broken play.

From last year’s team, James Lowe, Peter Samu, and Siosiua Halanukonuka left for overseas clubs. Before the season started, Shane Christie announced a premature retirement due to the ongoing effects of concussion, with Billy Guyton doing the same during the Mitre 10 Cup. Kane Hames played no rugby at all in 2018 due to a concussion.

New players into the province with previous first-class experience were Jed Brown and Wyatt Crockett (both Canterbury), Solomon Alaimalo (Northland), and Ray Niuia (North Harbour).

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand: Shannon Frizell, Tyrel Lomax, Tim Perry, Liam Squire.
New Zealand Maori: Tyrel Lomax, Pari Pari Parkinson.
New Zealand Under 20: Leicester Fainga’anuku, Jamie Spowart.
New Zealand Sevens: Tima Fainga’anuku, Trael Joass, Andrew Knewstubb, Tone Ng Shiu.

(Source - 2019 Rugby Almanack)

Tasman Makos 2018 NPC draw.

  Home GameTickets
1 Canterbury Blenheim Fri 17 Aug, 7.35pm
W 25-17
2 Southand Blenheim Sun 26 Aug, 2.05pm W 45-24
3 North Harbour Albany Sat 1 Sep, 7.35pm W 32-20
4 Auckland
Auckland Fri 7 Sep, 7.45pm L 10-36
5 Taranaki Nelson Fri 14 Sep, 7:45pm W 53-17
6 Manawatu
Palmerston North Wed 19 Sep, 7.35pm W 29-19
7 Counties Manukau
Nelson Sun 23 Sep, 2.05pm W 21-19
8 Wellington
Wellington Sat 29 Sep, 7.35pm W 28-22
9 Otago
Dunedin Sun 7 Oct, 4.35pm W 47-21
10 Hawke’s Bay
Nelson Thu 11 Oct, 7.35pm W 29-0
11 SF - Canterbury Nelson  Fri 19 Oct, 7.35pm L 16-21
12 Premiership Final     TBA Sat 27 Oct, 7.35pm

Played 11 I Won 9 I Lost 2 I Drew 0 I Points for 355 I Points Against 211


Name Tries Con Pen Total
 Mitchell Hunt 4 27 14 116
 Will Jordan 9 0 0 45
 Andrew Makalio 4 0 0 20
 Solomon Alaimalo 4 0 0 20
 Tim O'Malley 1 7 0 19
 David Havili 3 0 0 15
 Finlay Christie 2 0 0 10
 Tima Faingaanuku 2 0 0 10
 Quentin Strange 2 0 0 10
 Ethan Blackadder 2 0 0 10
 Levi Aumua 2 0 0 10
 Shannon Frizell 1 0 0 5
 Pari Pari Parkinson 1 0 0 5
 Tyrel Lomax 1 0 0 5
 Te Ahiwaru Crikidaveta 1 0 0 5

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 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!

2013 ITM CUP

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.

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.