Bay of Plenty 9
Tasman and Bay of Plenty have given a glimpse at what the NPC's new structure of friendlies could look like, with the sides taking the opportunity to heavily rotate their squads for a hit out in Nelson.
With the Auckland-based teams now officially ruled out of the competition, teams scheduled to face Auckland sides will now meet each other in friendlies where applicable instead of having an extra bye.
In miserable conditions, Tasman got the better of Bay of Plenty in the first of these sorts of matches for the season, claiming a 26-9 win on home soil.
Both teams took the opportunity with no competition points on the line to introduce young players to the arena, with several players on both sides making their provincial debuts.
As the players ran onto the turf and water kicked up around their ankles, it was clear conditions would have a major impact on the game. That proved to be the case as both sides struggled with handling errors, while the wind made kicking hard to judge and took the odd lineout askew.
However, Tasman went on the front foot from the outset. Led by No10 Campbell Parata, making his debut for the team, Tasman found themselves in attacking position for the majority of the game, particularly in the second half.
That said, it was Bay of Plenty who got the better of the first half on the scoreboard with the wind at their backs, with three penalties from the boot of Te Aihe Toma the only scoring plays of the half and seeing the visitors take a 9-0 lead into the break.
As Tasman captain Antonio Shalfoon said to Sky Sports after the match: "It was a game of two halves; that old cliché."
With the wind at their backs, Tasman used that to full advantage. While the odd kick drifted too far, Parata controlled the game well and more often than not used his boot to put the side in attacking positions.
After two quick penalties, Tasman finally got across the try line through Andrew Knewstubb with 21 minutes to go. When impressive winger Timoci Tavatavanawai crossed out wide 10 minutes later, the hosts had a comfortable lead.
Controlling the second half by playing the territory game and backing their forwards worked a treat for Tasman against the young Bay of Plenty side, who had limited opportunities in the second 40.
With the clock ticking away, a 79th-minute try to hooker Quentin MacDonald put the result away for the home side.
Tasman 26 (Andrew Knewstubb, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Quentin MacDonald tries; Campbell Parata con, 3 pen)
Bay of Plenty 9 (Te Aihe Toma 3 pen)