Taranaki late show sinks Tasman

Date published: September 11 2014

Waisake Naholo's converted try in injury time gave Taranaki a dramatic 31-30 victory over Tasman in Nelson on Thursday.

Waisake Naholo's converted try in injury time gave Taranaki a dramatic 31-30 victory over Tasman in Nelson on Thursday.
Marty McKenzie slotted the conversion which ultimately secured the victory but Naholo's try, after a great run from midway between Tasman's 22 and the halfway line, left the Makos shell-shocked as they squandered the opportunity to kick the ball into touch after the final hooter had sounded.

Tasman instead went in search of a try-scoring bonus-point but conceded a penalty inside the visitors' half, and Taranaki then launched a counter attack which led to Naholo's try.

The five-pointer was a fitting end to a topsy turvy affair played with plenty of positivity which saw the lead change hands on several occasions.

Taranki opened the scoring via a McKenzie penalty in the ninth minute after Tim Perry was penalised for obstruction. That three-pointer seemed to be a wake-up call for Tasman who upped the ante on attack after that.

To their credit Taranaki didn't panic, however, and kept the hosts at bay with a solid defensive effort. Tasman did manage to draw level through a Marty Banks penalty in the 21st minute but five minutes later McKenzie gave the visitors a 6-3 lead, from the kicking tee, after Tasman were penalised for a scrum infringement.

That didn't deter Tasman, however, who continued with their enterprising play as the half progressed. They were rewarded for their efforts on the half-hour mark when Pete Samu went over in the left-hand corner for a converted try after Bryce Heem put him into a gap inside Taranaki's 22.

Shortly before the interval, Tasman extended their lead with a superb try from their skipper Joe Wheeler.

Heem was, once again, the architecht after launching a counter-attack from inside his half and the ball went through five pairs of hands before Wheeler crashed over. Banks added the conversion which meant the Makos held a 17-6 lead at half-time.

Taranaki immediately after the break when Blade Thomson crossed over in the left-hand corner after Jamison Gibson-Park and Angus Ta'avao did well in the build-up.

The visitors then took the lead when Seta Tamanivalu took the direct route deep inside Tasman's 22 and burst through two tacklesd before scoring his side's second try.

Tasman didn't panic and five minutes later they regained the lead after Jimmy Cowan burrowed his way over the line from close quarters.

Taranaki fought back and were soon camped inside the hosts' 22 before another penalty from McKenzie reduced Taman's lead.

The hosts responded with another penalty from Banks, five minutes before the end, but there was still time for McKenzie to add a three-pointer as well as Naholo's moment of magic during the game's closing stages.

The scorers:

For Tasman:
Tries: Samu, Wheeler, Cowan
Cons: Banks 3
Pens: Banks 3

For Taranaki:
Tries: Thomson, Tamanivalu, Naholo
Cons: McKenzie 2
Pens: McKenzie 4

Tasman: 15 Robbie Malneek, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 James Lowe, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Tevita Koloamatangi, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Joe Wheeler (c), 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 Jesse MacDonald, 17 Siua Hulanukunuka, 18 Tevita Cavubati, 19 Vernon Fredricks, 20 Billy Guyton, 21 James Schrader, 22 David Havili.

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Codey Rei, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 James Marshall (c), 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Doug Tietjens, 6 Iopu Iopu-Aso, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Leighton Price, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements: 16:Sione Lea, 17 Ryan Cocker, 18 Riki Hoeata, 19 , 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Jackson Ormond, 22 Beaudein Waaka.

Referee: Shane McDermott

By David Skippers