The Hawke’s Bay Tui showed at Trafalgar Park on Friday evening just why they are leading the way in the Farah Palmer Cup championship race.
They were much too clinical and physical for the Tasman Mako women, prevailing 55-5 after holding a 27-5 advantage at the break.
The first half was a virtual procession until the final seven minutes when the home side finally awoke.
Hawke’s Bay opened the scoring in the fourth minute and relentlessly added points from there. Winger Shaylee Tipiwai and No 8 Kathleen Brown both scored a first-half brace, lock Liana Mikaele-Tu’u adding their fifth as they rolled to a 27-0 lead after half an hour.
It took a long time for the home side to find some rhythm and string a few phases together. After the inspirational Jess Foster-Lawrence and halfback Pippa Andrews went close to putting the Mako on the board, fullback Sydnee Wilkins got the job done, taking advantage of a superb long pass from first five Hayley Hutana.
The second spell began evenly, the Mako threatening to make it a more even battle but eventually the hard-charging Tui re-asserted control.
Led by Brown, canny halfback Emma Jensen and playmaker Sylvia Bockman they racked up four more tries, including one in the final minute, as play see-sawed back and forth.
The Mako effort was laudable, although they were outclassed. Livewire loosie Leah Miles was strong over the ball, Tamara Silcock turned in her usual strong effort while halfbacks Andrews and Jamie Paenga both threw out a stream of lengthy passes. Demi Salton and Wai Greig in midfield ran hard while Wilkins was impressive at the back. Hayley Hutana ran the cutter well from first five and used her educated left foot to good effect.
Next up for Tasman is Northland in Whangarei, kick-off 2pm, Saturday.
Scorers: Hawke’s Bay 55 (Shaylee Tipiwai 2, Kathleen Brown 2, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, Lukila Faavae, Holly MacDonald, Cortez Te Pou, Nicolette Adamson tries, Sylvia Bockman con, Krysten Cotterell 4 con) Tasman Mako 5 (Sydnee Wilkins). HT: 27-5.