History beckons for the Tasman Makos, who are now just one win away from a spot in the ITM Cup Championship final – a feat the country’s newest provincial side has never achieved.
Tasman will go into this weekend’s semi final as firm favourites, finishing top of the table on 36 points – a staggering 16 points ahead of fourth place Southland – and with the knowledge that they have beaten each of the three other semi finalists already this year.
The Makos were already guaranteed top spot and a Blenheim semi before Sunday’s commanding 57-14 win over Manawatu, a game that saw Marty Banks break the record for the most points scored in a Makos season with 113. However, the result has ensured their huge wave of momentum will continue through to this weekend, having gone unbeaten for the past month.
Even though Tasman are clear favourites for the upcoming game, assistant coach Leon MacDonald is well aware that there is “no tomorrow” if they lose again this season.
“Our goal at the start of the season was to win this competition and for the next two weeks this is it really,” says Leon.
“All of the good work has been done and now we’ve got an opportunity. The fact that we’re at home is a bonus but it’s not going to win you the game.”
Saturday’s playoff game will be held at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim. Kick off is at 4:35pm.