Caleb Makene capped a stunning day for the Makos with a solo try as they made the Mitre 10 Cup semi-finals thanks to a 56-0 win over Southland at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park on Sunday. Photo: Barry Whitnall Shuttersport.

Makos to renew Taranaki rivalry for rugby playoffs

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The Tasman Makos booked a semi-final spot in the Mitre 10 Cup against Taranaki this weekend after making must-win rugby look easy with a 56-0 win over Southland on Sunday.

Leon MacDonald’s team will travel to New Plymouth for the match after finishing third in the regular season.

The way they finished, with an eight try romp in the sunshine at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park, will give them plenty of confidence.

After Counties Manukau defeated front-runners Canterbury, the Makos had to win against men from the deep south, but when loose forward Pete Samu crossed for an early try built on forward domination, there was little doubt as to which team was going to win.

The victory also continues Tasman’s rise in the provincial ranks.

Three years in the top flight for a finals appearance and two semi-final efforts.

Tasman lost the 2014 final to Taranaki but got the better of the amber and blacks when they played in Nelson earlier this season.

Tasman and Taranaki will meet on Sunday with kick off at 4.35pm.

The winner will face either Canterbury or Counties Manukau, who meet in Christchurch.

Tasman could earn a home final if Counties beat the Ranfurly Shield holders.