Canterbury back on track as Manawatu sent packing
Canterbury have got their Farah Palmer Cup campaign back on track with a comfortable 40-10 win against Manawatu in Christchurch.
At the bottom of the premiership after last weekend’s flogging at the hands of Auckland, the red and blacks desperately needed a bounce back performance.
Led by fullback Grace Brooker’s brace, that’s exactly what they did with a bonus-point win at Linfield Park yesterday.
Wing Melanie Puckett also dotted down in her first national provincial championship match, while midfielder Lucy Anderson and flanker Nicole Purdom accounted for the other tries.
First five-eighth Charntay Poko added 13 points (three penalties and two conversions) off the tee.
Manawatu’s forwards must have all had a good taste of the Linfield Park turf by the end of the game, having been repeatedly buried at scrum time.
It was a brutal display from the red and blacks, who led 28-0 at halftime after Puckett got on the end of a smart grubber kick by lock Estelle Uren to score out wide.
It followed Anderson’s early try and Brooker’s sparkling 50m dash to the line.
Canterbury botched a number of chances and will no doubt need to be much more clinical when they travel north to play defending champions Counties Manukau, fresh from beating Auckland 36-12 yesterday, next weekend.
The Wayne Love-coached Cantabrians were also sloppy in the second half, particularly with their discipline, as the Cyclones wasted little time getting on the board through centre Janna MichalVaughan.
A rare botched lineout throw then led to the visitors’ second try, an electric run down the left-hand side by Black Ferns fullback Selica Winiata.
But the home side was not done scoring itself. Brooker combined with Puckett to dive over inside the left-hand corner flag, before Purdom crashed over out wide in the closing minutes. Results: Canterbury 40 Manawatu 10, Counties Manukau 36 Auckland 12, Wellington 11 Waikato 5, Otago 39 Hawke’s Bay 17, Bay of Plenty 34 North Harbour 12.