Mako top table after big win under roof

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Sunday, October 7, 2018    Campbell Burnes    Getty Images

The foundations of the comprehensive win were laid in the first stanza, after which the Mako led 28-0, working off a sound set-piece, a sterling Ethan Blackadder display, and punishing any Otago turnovers.


The upshot is that the 8-1 Mako shoot back to the top of the Premiership table on 38 points, just clear of Canterbury and Auckland. The latter has a game in hand.

Otago, despite this reality check, is still on for a home Championship semifinal, in third position, but will now be cheering their Mako opponents against the Magpies in the last round.

The Tasman front-row of Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Makalio and Tyrel Lomax put Otago under the knuckle from the first scrum, but the first score did not come until the 14-minute mark when pressure led to first five Mitch Hunt waltzing over in space.

Makalio was next on the scoresheet, diving over from another well executed lineout drive.

Fullback Will Jordan was again in imperious form, racking up a hat-trick, taking him to nine for the season. The first started from an 80m counter-attack in which wing Tima Faingaanuku played a prominent part.

By the time skipper David Havili speared over off for a superb team try, the Mako led by 28 points. Otago assistant coach Ryan Martin said the halftime message was clear: ‘Put up the white flag or the blue and gold flag.’

Unsurprisingly, the Razorbacks chose the second option, stiffening up their defence and punching holes in the usually impregnable Mako defence. That led to three tries, to wing Matt Faddes, midfielder Sio Tomkinson and flanker Slade McDowall.
Unfortunately for Otago, Tasman was far from finished on attack, two more Jordan tries again showcasing the Mako ability to move the ball into space and be clinical off turnovers.

Otago now gears up for a shot at the Ranfurly Shield, next Saturday in Hamilton against Waikato, while Tasman hosts Hawke’s Bay on Thursday night in Nelson.

Tasman 47 (Will Jordan 3, Mitch Hunt, Andrew Makalio, David Havili, Tima Faingaanuku tries; Hunt 6 con) Otago 21 (Matt Faddes, Sio Tomkinson, Slade McDowall tries; Tomkinson 3 con) HT: 28-0 Tasman