Mitre 10 Cup: Clinical Tasman thump Auckland in Nelson

Just three weeks out from the Mitre 10 Cup playoffs, Tasman have made a statement,  with a 40-0 win over reigning premiership champions Auckland in Nelson. 

The Mako showed their intentions from the outset, turning a penalty into a five-metre lineout, which they rolled over to score through hooker Andrew Makalio.

Captain David Havili helped double the hosts' lead in the seventh minute, the fullback slicing through Auckland's defence down the right wing, before finding flanker Ethan Blackadder, who scored the second of the night. 

But Auckland managed to get their hands on the ball and put some phases together to move into Tasman's territory. 

Wyatt Crockett was yellow-carded for repeat infringements around the maul, but Auckland couldn't take advantage, as the Mako defence muscled up with just 14 men. 

Their defiance was rewarded in the 36th minute, as winger Leicester Fainga'anuku received a gorgeous pass from halfback Finlay Christie to score the Mako's third try of the night and take the score to 19-0 at half-time. 

Both sides returned to the field after the break, but it was the same one-way traffic as the first half, with the hosts further stamping their mark in the 48th minute, as Christie was awarded a try after a potential double-movement. 

The Mako dominance continued midway through the second half, as Blackadder powered his way over the line from close range to score his second of the night. 

Fainga'anuku broke through Auckland's defence late in the match, going close to scoring his second, before the Mako were able to shift the ball left and score comfortably.

Auckland, who looked a shell of the side that lifted the trophy last year, struggled to create anything on attack, as they fell to their second straight loss. 

They take on Southland next Saturday and the Mako face Northland at home on Sunday. 

Tasman 40 (Andrew Makalio, Ethan Blackadder 2, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Finlay Christie & Hugh Roach tries; Mitch Hunt 5 conversions) Auckland 0



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