Planet Rugby

Cantabs retain Ranfurly Shield

26th September 2009 05:17

Share:

Sam Whitelock scores

False start: Sam Whitelock scores the first try

Canterbury retained the Ranfurly Shield with a 31-21 win over Northland on Saturday in Christchurch in the Air New Zealand Cup.

It was considerably more dominant a victory than it sounds; the Cantabs dominated the first half yet were hit by two sucker-punches from Northland's excellent openside Joel McKinty and so were left to fight far harder late on than they should have been.

Northland's refusal to lie down though, made life for the holders distinctly unpleasant and there will be unsatisfied murmurs at the indiscipline that kept Northland in the hunt.

Canterbury opened the scoring after just five minutes, with David Holwell missing touch from a penalty, Tu Umaga-Marshall running the ball back well, and Stephen Brett producing a pinpoint kick for Sam Whitelock popping up on the left to score.

Brett's touchline coversion was equally pinpoint and the hosts and holders had a 7-0 lead.

Brett extended that to 13-3 with two pena,ties to Lachie Munro's one, but then, after a rare period of continuity, McKinty popped up in the middle to take a ball from Holwell on a terrific line, sidestep Colin Slade, and score under the posts.

Brett restored the lead to six, but on Northland's second foray into the Canterbury 22 - they spent two minutes in the opposition 22 to Canterbury's eight in the first half - saw McKinty cut back and take a pop pass on the short side for his second. Munro, with a shot for the lead, just pulled the ball to the left from the touchline, leaving the score 16-15 at the break.

Canterbury started the second half with a bizarre try, catching Northland completely unaware with a quick line-out and with Sean Maitland sauntering home in acres of space.

Brett missed the conversion and missed a sitter of a penalty after 53 minutes too as the Cantabs sought to press home their significant advantage in terms of territory. Andy Ellis was also culpable of error, dropping a pass in a tackle as he looked to give the scoring offload.

Instead it was Munro who kept Northland within distance with his second penalty of the afternoon, drawing the scores level with his third just before the hour mark.

Canterbury's discipline was atrocious, and not only in deed; at one point Bryce Lawrence could quite clearly be heard saying: "when are you going to realise I am not interested in your moaning? Do what you are supposed to do." Northland sniffed the biggest upset of all in a season of shocks to date.

But in the nick of time, Canterbury strung nine phases of front foot possession together, and the ball went wide to give Tim Bateman the crucial try, with Brett converting.

Northland put up a stiff challenge to find another score, but the game - and the Shield - had got away, and Brett denied them a bonus point with a late drop goal.

The scorers:

For Canterbury:
Tries: S. Whitelock, Maitland, Bateman
Cons: Brett 2
Pens: Brett 3
Drop goal: Brett

For Northland:
Tries: McKinty 2
Cons: Munro
Pens: Munro 3

Canterbury: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tim Bateman (c), 11 Tu Umaga-Marshall, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Andy Ellis; 8 Ash Parker, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Peter Borlase, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Andrew Olorenshaw, 18 Nasi Manu, 19 Aaron McCoy, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Chris Small, 22 James Paterson.

Northland: 15 Jared Payne (c), 14 Simon Munro, 13 Damien Fakafanua, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 David Holwell, 9 Rhyan Caine; 8 Cameron Eyre, 7 Joel McKenty, 6 Roy Griffin, 5 Cam Jowitt, 4 Daniel Goodwin, 3 Karl Haitana, 2 Mikaele Tuu'u, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 Tim Dow, 17 Matt Wallis, 18 Pat O'Conner, 19 Matt Clutterbuck, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 David Holwell, 22 Jon Elrick.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954