The Tasman Mako will begin its Mitre 10 Cup defence in Pukekohe. Photo: File.

Historic Mako match for Motueka

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After securing its maiden title in 2019 the Tasman Mako will kick off its Mitre 10 Cup defence against Counties Manukau on Saturday August 8 in Pukekohe.

The 2020 draw was released today with Tasman hosting five games across the region including an historic first ever match for Motueka.

Motueka will celebrate 100-years of rugby in the region when the Mako take on Southland at Sports Park in September.

Other home games will see Waikato and Bay of Plenty come to Trafalgar Park while Blenheim will host Northland and rivals Canterbury.

Tasman Rugby Union marketing manager Les Edwards says they are delighted at the opportunity to spread the game across the province.

He says the Mako will wear brown and white hoops during their match in Motueka paying homage to the local club side.

“With lads like David Havili coming from Motueka and Ethan Blackadder and Quinten Strange form Golden Bay, I have no doubt the community will get behind the boys, the area are great supporters of rugby generally and the game is perfect timing at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon.

“It’s fantastic to take the game closer to our fans.”

New Zealand Rugby Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said the announcement of the draws signals the official countdown to the provincial season.

“We saw the Tasman Mako win their first premiership title and go through the season undefeated while the next generation of rugby stars announced themselves on the national scene. The Ranfurly Shield continues to bring the absolute best out of teams across the country and this year will be no different.”

Tasman may again miss out on a shield challenge with Canterbury set to defend against Taranaki, Wellington, Waikato, Otago and Auckland.
Kick-off times will also follow in the footsteps of changes introduced in Investec Super Rugby with 7.35pm fixture now down for kick off at 7.05pm.

Anyone looking to sponsor the Mako or buy a membership can contact Les at [email protected]

Mako 2020 draw:

Away- 4.35pm Saturday August 8 vs Counties Manukau

Home- 7.05pm Thursday August 13 vs Northland in Blenheim

Home- 7:05pm Saturday August 22 vs Waikato in Nelson

Away- 2.05pm Sunday August 30 vs North Harbour

Home- 4.35pm Sunday September 6 vs Bay of Plenty in Nelson

Away- 7.05pm Saturday September 12 vs Auckland

Home- 2.05pm Saturday September 19 vs Southland in Motueka

Away- 4.35pm Saturday September 26 vs Wellington

Home- 2.05pm Sunday October 04 vs Canterbury in Blenheim

Away- 2.05pm Saturday October 10 vs Otago