In a nail-biting last three minutes of play, the Tasman Makos held off a determined Hawke’s Bay attack to win the ITM Cup Championship Final 26 - 25 at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park tonight.
The Makos have claimed their first national provincial title prize since Nelson Bay’s Division Two win over the Magpies in 2004, and in the process, earned promotion into next year’s Premiership.
Next year, the Makos will take the spot vacated by the Bay of Plenty Steamers, relegated to the 2014 ITM Cup Championship, after coming last in the Premiership.
New Zealand Rugby Chairman Mike Eagle congratulated Tasman on their historic ITM Cup win - their first national provincial competition prize as a province after the 2005 merger of the Nelson Bays and Marlborough Rugby Unions.
"I congratulate both teams on an exceptional spectacle in tonight’s Final. Both teams put on a thrilling Final this evening - an excellent finale to the Championship.
"I know Hawke’s Bay will be disappointed to miss out on promotion, but they can be proud of their season."
The Wellington Lions host five-time champions Canterbury in their first final since 2009, for their ITM Cup Premiership Final at Westpac Stadium tomorrow night.
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