Canterbury retained their unbeaten status in this year's ITM Cup after claiming a 57-7 victory against Manawatu in Palmerston North on Thursday.
The visitors were full value for their win and were dominant from the start to finish, outscoring their hapless hosts by nine tries to one.
The victory moves Canterbury provisionally into top spot on the ITM Cup table, four points clear of Tasman who face Otago in Dunedin on Friday.
Canterbury made a flying start and raced into a 19-0 lead after scoring three tries inside the opening ten minutes. Marshall Suckling got over the whitewash as early as the second minute before Mitchell Drummond and Rob Thompson added their names to scoresheet.
Dominic Bird, Ben Funnell and Johnny McNicholl also scored tries during the opening half and Tom Taylor succeeded with four conversions. Manawatu were on the back foot for most of the opening period and only registered their opening points in the 38th minute when Fraser Stone barged over from close quarters.
Manawatu were more competitive in the second half and Canterbury had to wait until the 59th minute for their next points. Suckling was on the end of an overlap and got over for his second try.
Thompson then got over for his second five-pointer, after Patrick Osborne laid the groundwork in the build-up, and notched his hat-trick five minutes before full-time.
Tries: Thompson 3, Suckling 2, Drummond, Bird, Funnell, McNicholl
Cons: Taylor 6
Manawatu: 15 Hamiora Thomas, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Jaxon Tagavaitau, 12 Jason Emery, 11 Ambrose Curtis, 10 Otere Black, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 James Oliver, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (c), 5 Tom Parsons, 4 Fraser Stone, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Adrian Barone.
Replacements: 16. Nick Grogan, 17. Tim Cadwallader, 18. Fraser Armstrong, 19. Valentino Mapapalangi, 20. Bryce Henderson, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Hamish Northcott, 23. Nathan Tudreu.
Canterbury: 15 Marshall Suckling, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tulolo Tulolo, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Joe Moody, 19. JJ Manning, 20. Jed Brown, 21. Jack Stratton, 22. Marshall Suckling, 23. Milford Keresoma.
Referee: Aki Aso