Sat, Oct 9, 2021 6:35 PM

Third time unlucky for Mako

The Mako failed in its bid to add the Ranfur;y Shield to its cabinet in Napier today. Photo: Shuttersport

Jonty Dine

The wait continues.

The Tasman Mako have fallen short in just its third attempt at the coveted Ranfurly Shield, losing 34-22 to the Magpies in Napier.

It has been almost ten years since the Mako last had a shot at the Shield, a 49-40 loss to Taranaki in 2012.

While the Mako has experienced great success recently with back to back titles, the Ranfurly Shield has and continues to elude them.

The Magpies struck first at McLean Park in stunning style, breaking out from inside its own 22 as Ere Enari capped off some superb interplay to put first points on the board.

Mitch Hunt opened the Mako account with a penalty but the Bay replied with a second try through flanker Brendon O'Connor.

Hawke's Bay was all over the visitors in the opening quarter, Lolagi Visinia finishing off another scorching Magpies movement.

Compounding Tasman's woes, co-captain Quin Strange left the field through injury.

Hunt brought the Mako back into the contest with back to back penalties but the Magpie surge continued, Stacey Ili scoring his side's fourth.

A brilliant line by Shannon Frizell saw Tasman finally crack the hosts defence in the 34th minute to reduce the margin to eight.

Hunt's fourth penalty goal brought the Mako to within just one try at halftime, despite being thoroughly outplayed in the first fourty.

The skipper nailed a fifth after the break but the pendulum soon swung back to Hawke's Bay when Neria Fomai scored in the corner.

A late Tiaan Falcon penalty sealed the victory and continued the reign for Hawke's Bay.

It was 1974 when the region last tasted Shield glory with Marlborough winning the log o' wood for the only time in its history.

Scorers:

Hawke's Bay 34 (Enari, O'Connor, Visinia, Ili, Fomai tries McClutchie 3 cons, Falcon 1 pen)

Tasman 22 (Frizell tries, Hunt 5 pens, 1 con)