Planet Rugby

Canterbury make it six in a row

26th October 2013 09:20

Share:

Ardie Savea Wellington v Canterbury ITM Cup Final 2013

Andy Ellis stops Ardie Savea in his tracks

Canterbury won their sixth successive ITM Cup title when they beat Wellington 29-13 in the final in Wellington on Saturday.

It was more heartbreak for Wellington, who haven't won the competition since 2000, but a superb second half performance secured the victory for Canterbury.

The visitors raced into an early lead when Andy Ellis scored the opening try in the 10th minute. The All Black scrum-half was the beneficiary of superb work in the build-up from Patrick Osborne, who stunned the cover defence when he regathered his own grubber kick, inside Wellington's 22, before throwing an inside pass to Ellis who scored an easy try under the posts.

Tom Taylor added the extras but three minutes later the home side opened their account when Lima Sopoaga kicked a penalty after Luke Whitelock was penalised for a ruck infringement.

Canterbury thought they had extended their lead when Taylor burrowed over from close quarters but referee Chris Pollock ruled that he lost the ball while going over the line and disallowed the effort.

Wellington tried gallantly to strike back and their decision to kick for touch in the 31st minute, when awarded a penalty within goal-kicking range, seemed to be a huge error when John Schwalger and Ardie Savea were both held up when they went over the try-line.

Captain Victor Vito's decision was justified, however, when from the ensuing scrum Sopoaga spotted a gap in Canterbury's defence and glided through it before scoring his side's only try.

He succeeded with the conversion and the sides went into the break with the hosts leading 10-7.

Canterbury hit back early in the second half when, after a sustained period of pressure on Wellington's try-line, Ryan Crotty scored in the right-hand corner after running onto a long pass from Osborne.

Taylor's conversion attempt was wide of the mark and Wellington had a chance to take the lead when Sopoaga lined up a shot at goal, after the visitors' forwards strayed offside at a ruck, but his effort veered to the right of the uprights.

Canterbury upped the ante and were dominant for the next 10 minutes. Joe Moody and Luke Whitelock were both held up over the line thanks to great covering tackles, from Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Vito respectively, but the visitors were eventually rewarded when Tyler Bleyendaal scored from close quarters.

Adam Whitelock was initially stopped inches away from the line but Bleyendaal pounced, when the centre placed the ball backwards, and scored his side's third try with little resistance from the home side.

Taylor added the two-pointer before Sopoaga struck back with another penalty, shortly afterwards, to narrow the gap to six points in the 68th minute.

Wellington stepped up a gear but mistakes crept into their game as they went in search of victory. Just after his place-kick, Sopoaga was pinned for holding onto the ball on the ground, just outside his 22, and Taylor restored Canterbury's nine-point lead from the kicking tee.

Canterbury put the final nail in the home side's coffin in the 79th minute, when captain George Whitelock burst through two tackles to score his side's fourth try after Marcel Cummings-Toone did well in the build-up with a barnstorming run which had Wellington's defence at sixes and sevens.

Taylor succeeded with the conversion and the visitors started the celebrations while the dejected Wellington players and supporters could only contemplate what could have been.

By David Skippers

The scorers:

For Wellington:
Try: Sopoaga
Cons: Sopoaga
Pens: Sopoaga 2

For Canterbury:
Tries: Ellis, Crotty, Bleyendaal, G Whitelock
Con: Taylor 3
Pen: Taylor

Wellington: 15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Api Naikatini, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 Eric Sione, 18 Kaipati Gaualofa, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Tomasi Palu, 22 Joe Hill.

Canterbury: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Luke Whitelock, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Luke Katene, 4 Joel Everson, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 17 Paea Fa'anunu, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Rob Thompson, 22 Colin Slade.

Referee: Chris Pollock

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615