Planet Rugby

Canterbury rebound in Christchurch

25th September 2010 09:02

Share:

sonny bill williams

SBW strikes: Scored crucial bonus-point try for Canterbury

Canterbury bounced back from last week's upset ITM Cup defeat to Taranaki with a 37-30 win over Wellington in Christchurch on Saturday.

A late furry of scoring with the wind behind them earned the home side their victory over the Lions in front of a bumper home crowd that was given free entry in respect of the recent Canterbury earthquake.

In an even contest throughout, both sides played open and enterprising rugby whenever possible and each scored four tries. But it was Canterbury tries in the 64th and 68th minutes that helped make the difference, giving them a 34-25 lead heading into the last 10 minutes.

With Wellington in front 25-20 following a try off the back of a scrum to number eight Faifili Levave, Canterbury full-back Sean Maitland scored in the corner and fly-half Colin Slade converted to put his team ahead for the first time since midway through the first half.

Replacement centre Sonny Bill Williams then broke through for a second quickfire converted try to extend their advantage to nine points.

The Lions hit back almost immediately through scrum-half Alby Mathewson who stole the ball from the back of a Canterbury scrum on their own tryline and darted over for a five-pointer, bringing the score back to 34-30.

The home side were able to re-establish field position and hold off the Lions once more and Slade was able to kick a late penalty to make sure of the victory.

Despite the defeat and Canterbury's retention of the Harry Saundercock Memorial Trophy, the Lions earned two competition points and will remain near the top of the ITM Cup points table at the conclusion of this weekend's tenth round.

Tighthead prop Neemia Tialata failed a pre-game fitness test on his injured ankle and wing Hosea Gear assumed the captaincy of the Lions for the first time.

It was Gear who helped spark the Lions to a 20-13 lead at half-time with a pair of wonderful tries, after Canterbury had opened the scoring in the 12th minute through their speedster Telusa Veaniu who took a final pass from former Wellington centre Robbie Fruean after a midfield scrum turnover.

Wellington answered through Gear who raced up into the defensive line and plucked a Canterbury pass out of the air and cruised 60 metres for a try under the bar. Fly-half Lima Sopoaga's conversion evened up the ledger to 7-7 after 17 minutes.

Both sides probed for further opportunities and Slade and Sopoaga exchanged penalties to make it 10-10.

The tight run of play ensued. Slade put his side back in the lead with a penalty in front. Sopoaga replied with his second penalty after a concerted period of attack, making it 13-13 after 30 minutes.

Sopoaga put Canterbury back inside their 22 with a pinpoint touch-finder into the corner. Canterbury's defensive line-out was overthrown and the loose ball was snaffled at the back by flanker Scott Fugistaller.

From Fugistaller's initial incursion, Wellington swung play both ways across the posts to Gear, who effortlessly steamed in for his second try. Sopoaga converted to put the Lions ahead 20-13.

A Slade penalty attempt hit the uprights, before a Sizzling break by Julian Savea put the Lions back into the attacking zone. Canterbury held on and the half-time hooter sounded soon after with the home side inside Wellington's half of play.

Now with the wind advantage, it was Canterbury's turn to score next through halfback Andy Ellis who finished off a sweeping movement.

Canterbury failed to control the next re-start, leading to a Lions scrum and surge at the line by the Lions forwards. Prop David Te Moana crashed over in a heap of bodies for a try in reply that the TMO couldn't award due to inconclusive evidence.

But with the heat still on, the Lions attacked from a 5m scrum and Levave made a powerful burst at the chalk and was rewarded with a try. Sopoaga pushed the conversion wide but the visitors were back in front at 25-20.

Maitland scored in the corner in broken play and Slade converted to put Canterbury back in front with 15 minutes remaining.

Sonny Bill Williams scored his try next. Slade's conversion extended their advantage to 34-25 and the Lions now needed to score twice with 12 minutes on the clock.

Flanker Api Naikatini couldn't reel in a fingertips pass in the left-hand corner, leading to a defensive Canterbury scrum feed.

From the set-piece, Mathewson snaffled the ball from Canterbury number eight Nasi Manu's grasp and came up with the Lions' bonus-point try and the deficit was whittled back to four points ahead of a tense final nine minutes of play.

The scorers:

For Canterbury:
Tries: Veainu, Ellis, Maitland, Williams
Cons: Slade 4
Pens: Slade 3

For Wellington:
Tries: Gear 2, Levave, MathewsonCons: Sopoaga 2
Pens: Sopoaga 2

Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tu Umaga-Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 George Whitelock (c), 6 Matt Todd, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Peter Borlase, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Andrew Olorenshaw, 18 Rob Verbakel, 19 Ash Parker, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.

Wellington: 15 Apoua Stewart, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Shaun Treeby, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Api Naikatini, 5 Nick Passi, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata/David Te Moana, 2 Dane Coles, 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 David Te Moana/Reg Goodes, 18 Brad Shields, 19 Dean Brunsdon, 20 Ruki Tipuna, 21 Fa'atonu Fili, 22 Alapati Leiua.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00