Home semi-fi­nal for Tas­man

The Press - - Sport - Robert van Royen

Tas­man fans can start plan­ning for a home semi­fi­nal.

The Mako rolled Hawke’s Bay 29-0 at a sop­ping wet Trafal­gar Park in Nel­son last night, shoot­ing to the top of the premier­ship sec­tion of the Mitre 10 Cup in the process.

Whether or not they fin­ish as the top seed, which comes with home field ad­van­tage through­out the play­offs, won’t be known un­til Sun­day af­ter­noon, but they’ve at least guar­an­teed them­selves one home play­off match.

The bonus point scalp im­proved their record to 9-1, and only Auck­land, who host North Har­bour on Sun­day, can sur­pass them.

As for Hawke’s Bay (5-5), they have an anx­ious few days ahead as they wait to see whether or not they will host a cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal.

The Mag­pies are in sec­ond, but can be over­taken by Otago on Satur­day af­ter­noon, should the blue and golds win their Ran­furly Shield clash with Waikato.

Re­gard­less, Hawke’s Bay quickly need to ad­dress their shaky scrum if they’re to en­ter­tain any thought of pro­mo­tion to the com­pe­ti­tion’s top-tier.

They were an­ni­hi­lated by Tas­man’s im­pres­sive pack, led by cap­tain and prop Wy­att Crock­ett, hooker An­drew Makalio and tight­head Tyrel Lo­max.

Tas­man lapped up the set piece dom­i­nance, us­ing it to dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion and ter­ri­tory - im­por­tant as­sets on such a mis­er­able night.

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