Canterbury make it three on the trot

06th Nov 2010, 10:26

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Perfect start: Tu Umaga-Marshall opens the scoring for Canterbury

Perfect start: Tu Umaga-Marshall opens the scoring for Canterbury

Canterbury got the hat-trick of titles they were looking for after beating Waikato 33-13 to win the 2010 ITM Cup on Friday.

Canterbury got the hat-trick of titles they were looking for after beating Waikato 33-13 to win the 2010 ITM Cup on Friday.

The victory was never in doubt as the two-time defending champions put in a near flawless performance at AMI Stadium that saw the home side cross the whitewash four times.

The Mooloos managed two tries of their own to stay within touching distance of the red-and-blacks, and were still in with a shout after trailing 13-8 at half-time.

However, the visitors were guilty of giving away two soft tries that they never quite recovered from as the Cantabs marched on towards their third piece of domestic silverware in three years.

Canterbury shot out of the starting blocks first and were celebrating their opening five-pointer with barely two minutes up on the clock after wing Tu Umaga-Marshall took advantage of a Waikato fumble behind their own line.

Waikato number eight Alex Bradley was unable to control Robbie Fruean's chip kick ahead, and was left red-faced as Umaga-Marshall dotted the ball down before it rolled behind the deadball line.

Slade missed the touchline conversion, and went on to miss another two more shots at goal as the posts swade from side to side in the swerling Christchurch wind.

One miss nearly resulted in another Canterbury try as Slade's penalty attempt saw the ball ricochet off the crossbar and behind Waikato's tryline. Henry Speight was dealt a cruel bounce as Umaga-Marshall and Ryan Crotty pounced. It seemed Crotty scored a legit try, but the TMO thought otherwise and ruled in Speight's favour after Umaga-Marshall was blown up for tackling his opposite number without the ball.

Waikato's reply was built around a forwards rumble, the continuous pick and goes finally breaking the Canterbury defence down with prop Toby Smith flopping down to score an unconverted try.

Slade finally opened his account to put Canterbury in front again but Waikato pivot Trent Renata equalised with a penalty of his own.

Canterbury lock Isaac Ross was then denied a try after Canterbury dished out a dose of their forwards power on the Waikato line with the forgotten All Black carried over by his team-mates, but no try was awarded because replays were inconclusive on the grounding.

Crotty finally got on the scoreboard after Waikato scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow's kick through came off Slade's shin and Crotty was on hand to retrieve the ball, run 40 metres and score.

It was the perfect tonic Canterbury needed before the break, who started and finished the first half with valuable tries. However, at 13-8, the Mooloos were still in it.

The arrival of former All Black number nine Brendon Leonard in place of Kerr-Barlow was the spark that briefly ignited Waikato in the second half.

After Slade slotted an early penalty, Leonard help set up his side's third try scored by Speight in the corner after a patient build-up and then made a try-saving tackle.

Waikato's spirits dropped when man-of-the-match Nasi Manu charged down a Leonard clearance for flanker Matt Todd to grab the ball and score a converted try.

The writing was on the wall in the 66th minute when Slade plucked up a loose Waikato kick ahead and galloped through a wrong-footed defence to score beneath the cross bar and convert his own try.

Game, set and match? Not quite yet as Canterbury replacement Stephen Brett still had time to boot over a late penalty to put the issue beyond doubt.

The scorers:

For Canterbury:
Tries: Umaga-Marshall, Crotty, Todd, Slade
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 2, Brett

For Waikato:
Tries: Smith, Speight
Pen: Renata

Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tu Umaga-Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Peter Borlase, 2 Steve Fualau, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Paul Ngauamo, 17 Andrew Olorenshaw, 18 Ash Parker, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Takerei Norton, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Sam Monaghan.

Waikato: 15 Sosene Anesi, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Dwayne Sweeney, 10 Trent Renata, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Nathan White (c), 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Ben May, 18 Kent Fife, 19 Zak Hohneck, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Christian Lealiifano, 22 Tim Mikkelson.

Referee: Jonathon White