Mitre 10 Cup Preview: Tasman (2020)

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Coach: Andrew Goodman and Clarke Dermody

Home ground: Trafalgar Park (Nelson) and Landsdowne Park (Blenheim)

2019: Premiership champions

 

Talking points

It is testament to the strong team culture that Tasman has built since its establishment in 2006 that four veteran players are returning to the fold in 2020. Top of the list is 39-year-old lock Alex Ainley who returns after a season with Bay of Plenty and in search of 100 games for the Mako (he currently sits on 92). Blenheim-born hooker Quinten MacDonald is also back in Mako colours for the first time since 2015 while the backs division is boosted by the return of classy pair Kieran Fonotia and James Marshall. David Havili will lead the team again in 2020 and will be hoping to remain injury-free after having his two campaigns with the Crusaders this year ended through injury.

 

Players to watch

Opposition defence coaches will be working overtime to come up with a plan to contain Tasman’s star wing recruits Sevu Reece and Mark Telea. In Reece and Telea, the Mako boast one of the most exciting wing combinations in world rugby. Reece has already made his mark on the world stage while Telea enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Blues this year. Both players have genuine x-factor and can create something out of nothing. The star recruits add more depth to a stacked Mako outside back division which includes new All Black Will Jordan, Fainga’anuku brothers Leicester and Tima, and skipper David Havili.

 

Incoming players

Alex Ainley (BOP), Quentin MacDonald (France), Kieran Fonotia (Wales), James Marshall (Taranaki), Sevu Reece (Waikato), Anton Segner, Hugh Renton (Canterbury), Mark Telea (North Harbour), Isieli Tuungafasi (Northland), Dwayne Polataivao

 

Outgoing players

Wyatt Crockett, Tim Perry (retired), Liam Squire, Jordan Taufua (overseas)

 

Tasman squad

Quentin MacDonald, Andrew Makalio, Sam Moli, Ryan Coxon, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Matenga, Isaac Salmon, Isieli Tuungafasi, Alex Ainley, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Mahroni Ngakuru, Quinten Strange, Taina Fox-Matamua, Shannon Frizell, Sione Havili, Jacob Norris, Hugh Renton, Anton Segner, Finlay Christie, Dwayne Polataivao, Mitchell Hunt, Timothy O’Malley, Kieron Fonotia, Alex Nankivell, Fetuli Paea, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Tima Fainga’anuku, David Havili (C), Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Jamie Spowart, Mark Telea,

 

Tasman draw

 

Counties Manukau v Tasman

Saturday 12 September

7.05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe

 

Tasman v Northland

Friday 18 September

7.05pm, Landsdowne Park, Blenheim

 

Tasman v Waikato

Saturday 26 September

2.05pm, Trafalgar Park, Nelson

 

North Harbour v Tasman

Sunday 4 October

2.05pm, North Harbour Stadium

 

Tasman v Bay of Plenty

Sunday 11 October

2.05pm, Trafalgar Park, Nelson

 

Auckland v Tasman

Saturday 17 October

4.35pm, Eden Park

 

Tasman v Southland

Sunday 25 October

2.05pm, Trafalgar Park, Nelson

 

Wellington v Tasman

Saturday 31 October

2.05pm, Porirua Park

 

Tasman v Canterbury

Saturday 7 November

7.05pm, Landsdowne Park, Blenheim

 

Otago v Tasman

Saturday 14 November

4.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium