Magpies overrun by classy Cantabs
Canterbury’s first five-eighth factory has produced another potential star with Brett Cameron excelling in the national champions’ 53-10 Mitre 10 Cup win over Hawke’s Bay at McLean Park.
The 20-year-old Lincoln University student made the most of his chance to score 23 points - including a try - on Friday.
Cameron - in for Crusaders pivot Richie Mo’unga - got quality ball behind a dominant Canterbury scrum as the Red-and-Blacks scored seven tries to go top of the table.
Hawke’s Bay dominated the opening exchanges, answering coach Craig Philpott’s clarion call after indifferent starts in the first two rounds.
The Magpies’ captain Ash Dixon - who later left the field injured in a cruel 29th birthday present - turned down a shot at goal from the first penalty to build more pressure on Canterbury.
Ihaia West opened with a 18m penalty and then starred with a try-saving, scything tackle on flying Canterbury wing Braydon Ennor.
Canterbury struck back with a 10th minute try after fullback George Bridge broke three tackles before Cameron dived over near the posts.
Hawke’s Bay’s cause was hardly helped by the loss of No 8 Mikaele Tu’u early in the second quarter - a double blow after their Highlanders backrower Gareth Evans was ruled out pre-match.
Canterbury’ had to make 80 first-half tackles and their line looked impregnable until Hawke’s Bay finally got some reward for their relentless pressure.
Bay backrower Hugh Renton barged over 14 phases after a lineout penalty win. West’s conversion tied the score at 10-10 but Cameron kicked Canterbury ahead with a 39th minute penalty as he totted up 13 first half points.
Hawke’s Bay conceded 40 unanswered points in the second half.
They had a horror start when centre Cardiff Vaega dropped the kickoff, allowing Canterbury wing Marshall Suckling to eventually score near the righthand corner.
Suckling’s second try killed off any hopes of a Hawke’s Bay comeback and Ennor also snared a double.
(Marshall Suckling 2, Braydon Ennor 2, Brett Cameron, Josh McKay, Inga Finau tries; Cameron 5 con, 3 pen)
(Hugh Renton try, Ihaia West pen, con). HT: 13-10.
Magpies halfback Chris Eaton tackles Canterbury’s Marshall Suckling.