Evan Barnes / Getty Images
Louie Chapman of Tasman is tackled in his team’s non-competitive game against Bay of Plenty in Nelson on Sunday.
Perhaps it was just as good that competition points weren’t on the line at Nelson on Sunday afternoon.
The Makos fought their way to an ugly 26-9 win over Bay of Plenty in the first uncompetitive game since the demise of the three Auckland teams that resulted in their introduction.
Tasman reversed a 9-0 halftime deficit, scoring three tries in the final quarter thanks to Andrew Knewstubb, impressive winger Timoci Tavatavanawai and hooker Quentin MacDonald.
Aided by a strong wind, the hosts dominated possession and territory in the second half and simply finished above the Steamers on a day when both teams put down a raft of frontline players.
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On loan from Canterbury, the seven-man kiwi ace Knewstubb conceded a Steamers error deep in his own half for five points in the 60th minute, before Tavatavanawai slipped to the side after pivot Campbell Parata had launched a sublime long ball in the wet eight minutes later.
Hooker MacDonald pushed his way over the line in the last minute to glean the win under miserable conditions.
Indeed, it was anything but sunny in Nelson, as heavy rains put on an old grim spectacle in a soggy Trafalgar park.
That said, Parata showed her class with some nice touches after having the opportunity to don the No.10 jersey with Mitch Hunt rested.
Kiwi-born Parata was one of Australia’s most promising schoolboy rugby players and was drafted by the Crusaders and Tasman in 2018.
With the rain pouring in, it was a miracle that Bay of Plenty managed to put together 11 phases in the first half, before loose striker Veveni Lasaqua came into contact just yards from the line.
Neither team came close to scoring a top-40 five, although Tasman did launch a few raids inside the Steamers 22 around halftime, only to get pushed back.
Bay of Plenty pivot Te Aihe Toma scored the entire first half, scoring three penalty goals, including one after flanker Tevita Koloamatangi received a yellow card for offside, for a lead at the halfway point. -time,
While Tasman spat the ball nine times in the first 51 minutes, the majority of them in the visitors’ 22, it was still only a matter of time before they turned their dominance into points.
Tasman 26 (Andrew Knewstubb, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Quentin MacDonald tries; Campbell Parata 3 pen, con) Abondance Bay 9 (Te Aihe Toma 3 pen). HT: 0-9