‘Saturday is anyone’s game’ – Whitelock

Date published: October 27 2016

Canterbury captain Luke Whitelock is expecting a titanic struggle against Tasman when the two teams battle it out for Mitre 10 Cup glory.

Saturday's final is the result of the Cantabs overcoming Counties Manukau and Tasman seeing off Taranaki in their respective semis.

Canterbury thumped Tasman in Week 2 this year but number eight Whitelock knows they're up against a different side this time around.

"Saturday is anyone's game," he told NZ Newswire ahead of the final. "You start on zero, and you've got to earn the right to get the win.

"We know Tasman pretty well, and we know one thing for sure – they're hugely intense games with a lot of passion out there while they're being played."

The Makos will be looking to the likes of Pete Samu, Shane Christie, James Lowe and Marty Banks for leadership on the field on Saturday, with Whitelock fully aware that their opponents will want to give their fly-half Banks the perfect send-off before he leaves to join Treviso.

"Any No.10 is pretty pivotal to how they roll," added the Canterbury back-row.

"Marty is an awesome player – he seems to slip through gaps, and he's got a great kicking game.

"He'll punish us if we make some mistakes."