Tamara Silcock fighting hard for Tasman

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The openside flanker has appeared 29 times for the Mako since they joined the competition in 2017. Furthermore, her two sisters Tessa and Kaite also represented the Mako. 


“I’m a defensive player. I really love the contact and the contest at the breakdown,” Silcock said. 


“I like to lead with actions. Generally I don’t have much to say, but I might provide a small critique occasionally, usually a quick tune-up or calm down.”


It’s hard to contain the excitement in the Tasman camp ahead of their opening round Championship fixture with Northland in Whangārei on Sunday.   


Despite losing 11 games in a row, there is genuine optimism Tasman can reach the Championship semifinals for the first time since 2019. 


“We had a good pre-season hit out against Canterbury with our Development side. We had a few girls away with Manu Sina commitments and snow closing the Lewis Pass. 


“We're a young team, not very big, but we’ll try to run it. We’ll work hard for each other. Northland is a big team so the key to beating them is moving it around a bit and making strong first-up tackles.”

Tamara Silcock


The Silcock family enjoys a strong rugby pedigree. Tamara’s father, Murray played 61 games at lock for Nelson Bays while all three sisters started playing at a young age. 


Katie showed the most early potential, becoming the first ever female selected for the Golden Bay/Motueka U52 side. She was also the top try scorer one season, dotting down an astonishing 82 times including 10 in one game. 


All three girls attended Motueka High School where rugby opportunities were inconsistent. 



Jessica Foster-Lawrence and Stephani Mitchell were two locals who disappeared to the Bay of Plenty in 2014 to further their rugby ambitions. When they returned to Tasman they fought hard for the establishment of a Tasman representative team.


In 2015, Tasman played their first game, beating a Canterbury Secondary Schoolgirls representative side 32-7 in Hanmer. Two victories against Wellington Samoa heightened the prospects of a Tasman FPC team. It finally happened in 2017.


“Our first game was against Waikato in Blenheim. We had two girls who’d played at FPC level and New Zealand Sevens rep Jess Drummond. We were pretty fresh and not sure what to expect. They were in the Premiership and we were in the Championship. We held it together for the first 40 minutes, but they pulled through in the second-half. It was a pretty good game,” Tamara recalled.


The final score was 25-17 to Waikato. Black Ferns, Tanya Kalounivale, Sosoli Talawadua, Grace Houpapa-Barrett and Natalie Delamere were in the Waikato pack.


Tasman’s best season was in 2019 when they reached the Championship semifinals and beat Taranaki (36-22) and North Harbour (25-19). Tamara scored a try against Taranaki, but that isn’t her favourite Mako game.


“One season we played Hawke’s Bay at home and they had us under the pump. All I remember was getting up and going down. When I checked my stats after that game, I’d made 17 tackles.


“Last year we played Manawatū and we knew it would be a really hard game. We hadn’t had a great season and though they put a lot of points on us, the vibe was the most positive it had been, which is something we can take into this season.”


Tamara helped Marist win the senior club championship 24-19 over Waimea Old Boys in extra time this year.


During the week she is a show jumping coach and has competed nationally in the sport. Her best victory was at the the 1.30m Anne Symes Memorial Derby at Takapoto Estate, Cambridge.



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