Third time’s a charm? Let’s hope so.
The Makos have the chance to create history this Saturday night by winning its maiden national provincial rugby championship.
Tasman will play in its third Mitre 10 Cup premiership final in just four years and if they win, it will be the province’s first national title — just 11 years after it was formed with the merger of Nelson Bays and Marlborough.
Losses to Taranaki in 2014 and Canterbury in 2016 broke Tasman hearts but a repeat of last year’s final, against Canterbury in Christchurch gives the Makos a shot at redemption.
Tasman earned its spot in the final with a tense one-point win over top qualifiers Taranaki in New Plymouth on Saturday night on the back of a 25 point-haul from first five Mitchell Hunt.
And now fans are rallying behind their Makos ahead of another final.
Messages of support were coming thick and fast on the Nelson Weekly Facebook page.
Andrea Grocott wrote: “Finzup fellas! Awesome effort!”
While Joan Carmody said: “Brilliant game tonight good luck next week.”
Geoff Win wrote: “Congrats Tasman Mako’s, friggen awesome result beating the ‘Naki up there.
“Pity it wasn’t a shield challenge as well. Bring on Canterbury. Do it this year, Makos.”
Helen Hills said: “Well done to Tasman Mako’s you, deserve it guys. We’re proud of you.”
Score: Taranaki 29 (D. O’Donnell, C. Ngatai, T. Tahuriorangi, S. Tamanivalu tries; M. McKenzie 3 cons, pen)
Tasman 30 (T. Faingaanuku, M. Hunt tries; Hunt con, 6 pens).
The final will be played at 7.35pm this Saturday night at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium.