6 Sep 2014

Makos, Taniwha leave it late

6:35 am on 6 September 2014
Tasman win a cliffhanger, stay unbeaten

Tasman win a cliffhanger, stay unbeaten Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Tasman have beaten Waikato 23-16 in their the ITM Cup rugby clash in Nelson with a last-minute try, after the scores were locked at 16-16 following a stirring comeback from the visitors, who had been 16-3 behind.

But Makos prop Siua Halanukonuka stole the win right on the full-time buzzer after 20 phases were strung together by the home side.

Tasman fullback Robbie Malneek scored in the third minute and the Makos held onto that 16-3 half-time advantage until Waikato wing Declan O'Donnell crossed.

Damian McKenzie added the conversion then levelled the scores with his third penalty, before Halanukonuka's late heroics kept Tasman's unbeaten run alive.

The Makos have now won three and drawn one of their four games, while Waikato's campaign continues to disappoint with their third loss in five games.

Meanwhile Hawke's Bay have been brought back down to earth following their upset Ranfurly Shield triumph over Counties-Manukau, losing 23-21 to Northland in Whangarei.

The Taniwha's first five Dan Hawkins kicked the match-winning conversion from the sideline after the final siren had gone, following replacement lock Michael Stolberg's late try.

Both sides scored two tries and the Bay led 11-6 at half-time.