Rugby: Tasman too strong for Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay 29 Tasman 36
Marty Banks of Tasman. Photo / Getty
Marty Banks of Tasman. Photo / Getty

A date with the Hawke's Bay defence was all that Tasman needed to revive their flagging Mitre 10 Cup fortunes.

The Makos last night eased to a bonus-point victory at McLean Park, taking advantage of some woeful tackling from the home team.

Tasman's win lifted them from second-bottom to fourth in the Premiership, given a huge helping hand from an opposition side who boast the most porous defence in the competition.

The Magpies have struggled on defence all season and, now seven points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, seem a good bet to earn relegation into the second tier.

Last night it was obvious why they were in such a precarious position, defending at times with all the solidity of a sieve. Tasman were quick and direct in attack but some of their raids owed as much to missed tackles as is did their own menace.

That was especially true before the break when, after Tima Faingaanuku capitalised on a sustained spell of pressure to open the scoring, the main feature of the first half was the number of times defenders would err.

There were 17 missed tackles in the opening spell and two tries resulted from Magpies left grasping at thin air.

In fairness, both Peter Samu and David Havili showed strength and their slippery side while finding their way to the line, especially the former as he beat at least four tacklers in a bruising run.

But Hawke's Bay will look back on those highlights with chagrin, leaving themselves with too much work as they made the result closer than it should have been with a late trio of tries.

Hawke's Bay 29 (T. Boswell-Wakefield, T. Lamborn, J. Long, J. Lowe tries; I. West pen, 2 con, J. Lowe con)
Tasman 36 (T. Faingaanuku, P. Samu, D. Havili, M. Banks, C. Makene tries; M. Banks pen, 4 cons)
Halftime: 8-24

- NZ Herald

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