Canterbury's mighty effort in Mitre 10 Cup Final

by AFP

The Canterbury juggernaut continues to dominate New Zealand rugby after beating Tasman 43-27 in Christchurch on Saturday in the national provincial final.

It is the eighth time in nine years that Canterbury have claimed the title.

In the showdown between the two main sides in the Crusaders catchment area, Canterbury scored twice in the opening five minutes to establish early control.

But ultimately it was their masterclass in defence that won them the game.
Tasman rallied to lead 13-12 midway through the first half but while they enjoyed ample possession through a dominant forward pack they faced a near watertight defensive wall.

Canterbury, however, thrived on attacking with every scrap of ball they had with double try-scorer fly-half Richie Mo'unga directing play.

By half-time, Canterbury had regained the lead 29-13 and they matched Tasman point-for-point in the second spell.

"We knew it was going to be tough and credit to Tassie they really brought it. We knew we had to hold onto the ball, and we knew they were going to get chances and we had to defend like we did last week.” Mo'unga told SKY Sports after the match
"We talked about starting well. In finals footy the team that gets a good start, they've got the upper hand and we just knew how crucial it was to start well and that's what we did,

"We believed in each other and believed in our systems and being part of a team that believes in each other and we trust what Razor [Scott Robertson-coach] set out for us to do and it shows out on the field,"

For Canterbury, Dave McDuling, Nathan Earle, Richie Mo'unga (2), Rob Thompson and Billy Harmon scored tries, while Jordie Barrett kicked five conversions and a penalty.

Tasman's points came from tries to Shannon Frizell, Billy Guyton and Jesse MacDonald with Marty Banks landing three conversions and two penalties.


Canterbury 43

Tries: David McDuling, Nathan Earle, Richie Mo'unga 2, Rob Thompson, Billy Harmon
Con: Jordie Barrett 5
Pen: Jordie Barrett

Tasman 27

Tries: Shannon Frizzell, Billy Guyton
Con: Marty Banks 2
Pen: Marty Banks