Result: Canterbury 48 v 03 Northland
28th August 2014
Canterbury strengthened their position at the top of the table after beating Northland 48-3 in Christchurch on Thursday.
The defending champions delivered a fine all-round performance and scored six tries, with captain and number eight Nasi Manu leading the way with a brace.
Northland held their own early on, and opened the scoring via a Dan Hawkins penalty in the fourteenth minute before Colin Slade replied with a three-pointer of his own midway through the half.
Canterbury started to find their rhythm as the half progressed and were soon in the lead thanks to a Mitchell Drummond try.
The diminutive number nine was the beneficiary of fine work from team-mate Milford Keresoma, who set up the try with a bullocking run down the left-hand touchline.
Keresoma powered past two defenders before drawing in Mathew Wright and offloaded to Drummond who scored under the posts.
Canterbury soon extend their lead when, after a powerful scrum, Manu scored a pushover try and Slade added the extras, as well as a penalty to give the hosts a 17-3 lead at the break.
Five minutes into the second half Canterbury launched a drive, from a line-out inside Northland’s 22.
Ben Funnell spotted a gap and broke away from the maul before being tackled just short of the visitors’ try-line. He managed to free his arms and offloaded to Tom Sanders, who crashed over for the home side’s third try.
Two minutes later, Canterbury secured their try-scoring bonus point thanks to the persistance of Richie Mo’unga, who cornered Matt Moulds behind the visitors’ try-line and managed to rip the ball from the Northland hooker’s grasp.
Jack Goodhue dived on to the loose ball and, after checking with the television match official, referee Aki Aso awarded the try which Slade converted to extend Canterbury’s lead.
Canterbury continued to dominate and Manu got his second try from close quarters after lurking out on the wing.
Slade’s continued with his perfect goal-kicking by converting from out wide, and did the same when replacement wing Patrick Osborne burst through two tackles for Canterbury’s sixth and final try in the 70th minute.
The win means Canterbury are in pole position on the table with 15 points from three matches – five clear of their nearest rivals Tasman who have a game in hand.
Canterbury: 15 Richie Mo’unga, 14 Rob Thompson, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Adam Whitelock, 11 Milford Keresoma, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Nasi Manu (c), 7 Jed Brown, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joel Everson, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 JJ Manning, 19. Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Nathaniel Apa, 22 Patrick Osborne.
Northland: 15 Mathew Wright, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Troy Gilbert, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Dan Hawkins, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Cam Eyre (c), 7 Jack Ram, 6 Dan Pryor, 5 Tom Murday, 4 Shane Neville, 3 Namatahi Waa, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Ross Wright.
Replacements: 16 Howard Silioto, 17 Will Griff John, 18 Michael Stolberg, 19 Kara Pryor, 20 Kurt Davis, 21 Latiume Fosita, 22 Warren Dunn.
Try: Manu 2, Drummond, Sanders, Goodhue, Osborne
Cons: Slade 6
Pens: Slade 2
Date: Thursday, August 28
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Aki Aso
Story source : http://www.rugbynews.co.nz/