Click here to Watch Tasman v Manawatu Live Thursday 27th August 07:35 GMT
There were many who wondered whether last season's astonishing run to the ITM Cup Premiership Grand Final by Tasman, was a flash in the pan, and that they would return to being nothing more than dangerous also rans in the 2015 campaign. Despite seeing the Makos riding high at the top of the ladder after the first two rounds of the tournament, it is still unclear as to just how good the side is, and whether they will be making another genuine challenge for the title, that they came so close to clinching in 2014.
Although they are the only Premiership side to have claimed maximum points so far, they may find that newly promoted Manawatu provide them with a stiffer challenge on Thursday at Lansdowne Park, Blenheim, Marlborough , than Waikato or Bay of Plenty have previously.
Manawatu may have lost both of their first two games, but both have produced losing bonus-points, and they also claimed a try-scoring bonus point against Counties. They also have the confidence of having thrashed Tasman in a pre-season friendly, scoring over 40 points against Thursday's hosts. What should be a tight contest, might just see the Makos continue their 100% winning start, and Manawatu pick up yet another losing bonus point.
Tags: ITM Cup
, Lansdowne Park