Rugby: Tasman romp to win over Southland

Tasman's Marty Banks.
Tasman's Marty Banks.
Tasman continue to impress during their maiden season in the ITM Cup's Premiership division.

The Makos made light work of Southland 38-14 in Invercargill tonight as they erased the horrors of their last-ditch loss to Taranaki last Thursday.

The bonus-point was wrapped up with more than 30 minutes to play as Tasman's entertaining brand of running rugby was too much for the Stags to handle.

Marty Banks, who continues to put up crazy points-scoring numbers, led the charge with an 18-point haul as he continued to show his ability at first-five.

Tasman's mobile forwards set the tone for their running game, while the side never met a pass they didn't want to force.

It can bring about their downfall at times but when the offloads stick, they're exciting to watch, while their forwards were well led by the impressive Shane Christie and the hard-working Joe Wheeler.

Tasman halfback Jimmy Cowan enjoyed a successful trip to his former homeground, which he marked with a try, although the Stag-turned-Mako did cop a stint in the sin bin for a high tackle. Cowan will link with the Blues next year in Super Rugby.

Mid-season recruit Andrew Hore made his debut for Southland when the former All Black hooker came off the bench during the second spell.

Despite all the miles on his legs he still managed one impressive turnover as the 36-year-old farmer gave a flash of his glory days.

The win has kept Tasman in the playoff hunt with five of the seven Premiership teams emerging as contenders for four spots.

The loss was damaging for Southland, who are hovering around the playoff spots in the Championship.

Both sides have a short turnaround with Southland set to meet Manawatu in Palmerston North on Saturday night. Tasman will look to an all-Premiership affair against Wellington in the capital on Sunday.

Ton up: It's not easy to register 100 appearances for your province but Southland lock Josh Bekhuis marked that rare milestone tonight.

Against old mates: There's just something about playing against your former team. Tasman halfback Jimmy Cowan scored a try and then went to the sin bin during a colourful stint against his old teammates.

Tasman 38 (James Lowe 2, Peter Samu, Jimmy Cowan, Marty Banks tries; Banks pen, 5 con), Southland 14 (Dillon Halaholo, Bill Fukofuka tries, Lima Sopoaga 2 con). Halftime: 24-7.

- Daniel Richardson of APNZ


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