The Tasman Rugby Union had to fight ruin, relegation and dissolution to get to where it is today. Patrick Dawkins explores the history of a young rugby union which has fought all the way and has the scars to prove it.
There was a huge amount of disappointment in the changing rooms afterwards and it was pretty sombre and quiet. But once we managed to get our heads around it, we celebrated the year that we've had.
The 2014 ITM Cup Premiership Final saw a gallant Tasman Makos team fight to the finish before losing to a terrific Taranaki team by 32 – 36.
Taranaki 36 (Charlie Ngatai 2, Rhys Marshall tries; Codey Rei 5 pens, 3 cons) v Tasman 32 (Billy Guyton 2, Pete Samu, Kieran Fonotia tries; Marty Banks 2 pens, 3 cons). HT: 16-10
1. Siua Hulanukunuka, 2. Quentin MacDonald, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Joe Wheeler, 6. Pete Samu, 7. Shane Christie, 8. Liam Squire, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 10. Marty Banks, 11. James Lowe, 12. Tom Marshall, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Bryce Heem, 15. Robbie Malneek. Subs: 16. Jesse MacDonald, 17. Reuben Northover, 18. Tevita Cavubati, 19. Vernon Fredricks, 20. Billy Guyton, 21. David Havili, 22. Mitchell Scott
In 2008 the Tasman Rugby Union was saved from extinction. Now six years on, the Tasman Makos are bidding to become the best provincial rugby team in the country when they take on Taranaki in Saturday's ITM Cup premiership final in New Plymouth.