Tasman dominate Waikato for semi-final berth
October 3, 2013
Tasman's Liam Squire makes a half break against Counties Manakau earlier in the season
© Getty Images
Tasman wrapped up a Championship home semi-final berth with their 64-28 win over Premiership team Waikato in an ITM Cup crossover match at Trafalgar Park in Nelson. Tasman underlined their position at the top of the second-tier table, dominating an under-strength Waikato team which compounded a lack of ideas with an endless succession of errors.
Missing nine players through injury, Waikato were also without sevens stars Tim Mikkelson and Joe Webber, and their lack of experience showed. Winger Mitchell Scott crossed for Tasman's first try after just seven minutes, then Marty Banks punished Waikato's ill-discipline with three penalties before fullback Robbie Malneek outpaced the defence for Tasman's second.
Waikato pulled one back at 33 minutes when hooker Vance Elliott was powered over at the end of a strong drive, but Tasman picked up their third right on halftime when Tom Marshall regathered his grubber ahead to give the home team a 33-7 lead at the break.
Lock Joe Wheeler latched onto Marshall's great offload for Tasman's bonus-point try five minutes after the restart. Although Waikato restored some pride with second-half tries to Latu Talakai, Josh Tyrell and Toby Smith, they couldn't shut down Tasman at the other end of the field with Liam Squire picking up two tries, and James Lowe and Tevita Koloamatangi adding to the tally as Tasman ran away with an eight-try victory.