16 Oct 2016

Tasman into Premiership semis

6:07 pm on 16 October 2016

Tasman are through to the Premiership semi-finals of the National Provincial Competition following their 56-0 victory over Southland in Nelson this afternoon.

Tasman Makos midfielder Kieron Fonotia.

Tasman Makos midfielder Kieron Fonotia. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Scoring eight tries without answer, Tasman unleashed their off-loading game with deadly effect while also making good use of wings coming into play from the short-side to several times prise open the Southland defences.

It was only Southland's ability to hold players up over the line, three times they did, that prevented Tasman's score reaching higher. While Tasman, even without the injured Marty Banks running the ship at first five-eighths, enhanced the reputation they have established in the competition in recent seasons.

Southland had few scoring chances, but when they did get them they lacked the finish of the home side. Too often they were hesitant, or inaccurate, on the off-load in comparison to their rivals while their handling was too often poor. Southland missed 28 tackles to four, although centre Dylan Collier's efforts prevented the count being worse.

Tasman hit them hard from the outset, utilising their off-loading skills to special effect and but for some diehard tackling efforts, three times holding players up over the goal-line, Southland would have been in a lot more strife than they already were at 0-21 down at half-time.

Tasman will face Taranaki in the semi-finals while Counties Manukau will head to Chrischurch to face defending champions Canterbury in the other semi.