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
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820