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
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00