Tasman v Taranaki Live

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Tasman                          Taranaki
Saturday 3rd September 02:35 GMT

 

What looks likely to be the match of the round in the ITM Cup, takes place at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on Saturday, when the Tasman Makos entertain the Taranaki Bulls. These are the two sides that have posted the greatest challenge to the established giants of Canterbury and Auckland over the past couple of seasons. Taranaki were Champions in 2014, defeating Tasman in the Grand Final, interrupting a run of six successive titles for Canterbury. While last season, the two sides qualified for the semi-finals, but fell to Canterbury and Auckland.

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The Bulls are one of only two Premiership sides, the other is Canterbury, who have won both of their opening two fixtures. Their nine points leaving them a point adrift of their rivals. They maintained their winning start, by recovering from 0-14 down last weekend against Hawke's Bay to secure a comfortable 53-26 victory. Tasman opened 2016 with a home win against Waikato, before suffering a crushing 14-45 loss in Christchurch to Canterbury last weekend. However, they will take heart from the fact that they were trailing by only 14-19 with 20 minutes left of the game. However, when the home side lifted the tempo of the game, the Makos were unable to sustain their challenge.

Posted: 11th September 2014

 

While Canterbury have been the unstoppable Red and Black juggernaut that we have come to expect over the last seven years in this seasons ITM Cup Premiership, leading the table with 19 out of a possible maximum 20 points after four matches, Tasman have been the surprise package of 2014. The newly promoted outfits, who host Taranaki at Trafalgar Park, Nelson on Thursday night, have taken on the mantle of every body's second favorite team, as they take the Premiership by relative storm. The Makos are currently third, just behind Thursday's visitors, but with a game in hand. They are also, apart from Canterbury, the only team that remains unbeaten in the ITM Cup. Such was their intent to play expansive rugby last week against Waikato that they nearly came unstuck, making far too many unforced errors. The game was locked at 16-16 as the final buzzer approached, when after twenty phases, Tasman prop Siua Halanukonuka went over for the winning score.

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Taranaki made a poor start to the campaign, drawing with Counties and then losing narrowly at Hawkes Bay. However, they have won their last three matches, and scored over 40 points on each occasion. A run that has lifted them into second place in the Premiership table.


Tags: ITM Cup, Trafalgar Park, Taranaki, Tasman
Posted: 3rd September 2016


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