Auckland outscored Canterbury five tries to two as they claimed an impressive 39-19 win in Saturday's ITM Cup clash at Eden Park.
Auckland outscored Canterbury five tries to two as they claimed an impressive 39-19 win in Saturday's headline ITM Cup fixture at Eden Park.
The result is Auckland's first win against the defending champions since 2007 and they did it in some style.
Auckland dominated the first half, racing to a 32-0 lead, although a Canterbury try just before the hooter meant the hosts led 32-7 at the interval.
Canterbury were significantly better in the second period but were unable to close the massive gap, meaning the Cantabs will head home empty handed and now trail leaders Wellington by seven points.
Auckland move above their visitors into second, three points off the summit.
With Canterbury struggling in some key areas, especially the re-starts, Auckland had the four-try bonus point wrapped up by the 34th minute.
Home fly-half Simon Hickey made a huge contribution, scoring 19 points, including the opening try and a 50m penalty.
A yellow card to Auckland centre Malakai Fekitoa gave the visitors a comeback and they managed to reducing the gap to 13 points early in the second half.
Canterbury replacement wing Rob Thompson made his mark with two second half tries in the space of four minutes.
But George Moala bust his way through four tacklers to score an awesome try on the hour mark and seal the win for the young Aucklanders.
Tries: Hickey, Visinia, Sauileoge, Pryor, Moala
Cons: Hickey 4
Pens: Hickey 2
Yellow card: Fekitoa
Tries: Osborne, Thompson 2
Cons: Mo'unga 2
Auckland: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Tenina Sauileoge, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (capt), 11 George Moala, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Wayne Ngaluafe, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Sean Polwart, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 So'otala Fa'aso'o, 19 Sean Brookman, 20 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Melani Nanai.
Canterbury: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Milford Keresoma, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joel Everson, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Paea Fa'anunu, 18 Luke Katene, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Andrew Ellis, 21 Rob Thompson, 22 Jamie Verran.
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Nick Briant