The 2020 Mitre 10 Cup culminated in an enthralling clash as Auckland took on Tasman in the final at Eden Park.
The nail-biting encounter ended with Tasman scrumhalf Finlay Christie hoofing the ball into touch, prompting referee Nick Briant to sound the final whistle with the score 13-12 in Tasman’s favour.
Both teams looked strong all through the 80 minutes, exhibiting rugby which was very easy on the eye.
The prodigious boot of Zarn Sullivan saw Auckland enjoying a 9-3 lead as half-time approached, however, sustained pressure from Tasman on the Auckland try-line resulted in the latter suffering a yellow card. With 42 minutes on the clock, Tasman bulldozed over for their and the game’s first (and only) try.
Auckland regained the lead with another Sullivan penalty but poor discipline let them down and saw them lose another player to the sin bin; Zarn Sullivan for a deliberate knock-down.
The final points of the game came with ten minutes left on the clock as Tasman booted over a penalty to reclaim the lead and, ultimately, the game.
The spirit in which the final was played was an appropriate tribute to what was a fantastic tournament.