Tasman 53
Taranaki 17

Taranaki continue to fall from grace.

After entering the Mitre 10 Cup season with Ranfurly Shield in hand and as one of the favourites to secure a spot in the playoffs, they now find themselves trying to stave off relegation.

After losing the Shield to Waikato on Sunday, the Bulls fell to their third straight loss on Friday night as Tasman blew them out of the water.


The Mako outscored the Bulls seven tries to two to claim an impressive 53-17 win and further their claims to hosting rights come playoff time, while also putting their recent embarrassment at the hands of Auckland well out of their minds.

The match was set up for a tight tussle in the early going, with only a penalty from the boot of Tasman No 10 Mitch Hunt separating the teams through the opening 15 minutes. Despite Tyrel Lomax crossing the stripe for Tasman in the 18th minute, Taranaki were still in touch and looking to strike.

That was until Tasman hooker Andrew Makalio crossed twice in four minutes to extend the lead to 21 points at halftime.

In the second half, Taranaki capitulated; allowing Tasman to treat the game as a training run in the park. The Mako ran in four more tries in the second half with little resistance, scoring the most points of any team in a match this season.

They move to third on the Premiership ladder, behind Canterbury and Auckland who meet later in the round. Taranaki remain second to last in the Premiership standings, remaining above North Harbour thanks to an extra bonus point.

Tasman 53 (Andrew Makalio 2, Tyrel Lomax, David Havili, Mitch Hunt, Will Jordan, Solomon Alaimalo tries; Hunt 6 cons, 2 pens)
Taranaki 17 (Ciarahn Matoe, Kane Thompson tries; Beaudein Waaka 2 cons, pen).
HT: 24-3