Taranaki have maintained their seven-match unbeaten rugby premiership run with a 40-26 win over mid-table Tasman in New Plymouth.

The bonus-point win keeps the pressure on defending champions and competition leaders Canterbury ahead of their Saturday match against Waikato in Christchurch.

Tasman played nearly 60 minutes with only 14 men after winger Viliami Lolohea received his second yellow card for a dangerous tackle.

Both Lolohea challenges left Taranaki counterpart Seta Tamanivalu sprawling after he leapt high to claim a high kick - the first in the third minute, the second in the 24th.


Taranaki wasted little time capitalising on Lolohea's initial absence, first- five Stephen Perofeta attacking the line then offloading for Sean Wainui to score.

Tasman hooker Andrew Makalio bulldozed over out wide five minutes later to make it 7-5, but the elusive Perofeta set up second five-eighth Johnny Fa'auli for Taranaki's second.

Lolohea's dismissal in the 24th minute opened up the game, flankers Lachlan Boshier and Pita Sowakula crossing to open out a 28-5 lead for Taranaki with seven minutes until the break.

Tasman nailed an unlikely try deep in stoppage time, rewarded for their patience when second-five Alex Nankivell dived over between the posts to reduce Taranaki's lead to 28-12 at halftime.

The elusive running of Perofeta set up No. 8 Toa Halafihi for Taranaki's fifth try three minutes after the restart, although Tasman hit back through skipper Alex Ainley soon after.

Tasman's prospects looked ominous when fullback Will Jordan was binned for a deliberate knock-down in the 52nd minute.

Wainui claimed his second try in Jordan's absence, but 13-man Tasman managed to restrict the damage until his return.

They then found a new lease of life from a Robbie Malneek break to send No.10 Mitch Hunt over to snatch an unlikely bonus point.