Cocksedge to re­turn


Can­ter­bury will wel­come back star half­back Ken­dra Cocksedge for next week­end’s daunt­ing away match against de­fend­ing na­tional women’s rugby cham­pi­ons Coun­ties Manukau.

Cocksedge has been rested for the first three games of the Farah Palmer Cup, in­clud­ing Can­ter­bury’s com­fort­able 40-10 win against Manawatu in Christchurch on Satur­day.

She took leave af­ter help­ing the Black Ferns win their fifth World Cup in Ireland last month, and Can­ter­bury coach Wayne Love con­firmed her loom­ing re­turn af­ter his side’s bonus point win against the Cy­clones.

The win im­proved Can­ter­bury to 2-1, pro­pelled them to third in the premier­ship stand­ings, and gave them a des­per­ately needed con­fi­dence boost af­ter their round two flog­ging at the hands of Auck­land.

Led by full­back Grace Brooker’s brace, the red and blacks were far too good for Manawatu at Lin­field Park.

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

(Lucy An­der­son, Grace Brooker 2, Me­lanie Puck­ett, Ni­cole Pur­dom tries; Charn­tay Poko 3 pen, 2 con, Cassie Si­ataga con) (Janna MichalVaughan, Sel­ica Wini­ata tries) HT: 28-0. Poko, who did a fine job steer­ing the home side around the pad­dock, added 13 points (three penal­ties and two con­ver­sions) off the tee.

Plenty of credit must go to the home side’s for­ward pack, which set a plat­form not too dis­sim­i­lar from the one the Can­ter­bury men’s side have been lay­ing for their backs in the Mitre 10 Cup.

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.

Love ad­mit­ted it was an area his team tar­geted af­ter scout­ing the Manawatu-Welling­ton game in round two.

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.

Mean­while Waikato missed a chance to steal a much soughtafter Farah Palmer Cup win los­ing to Welling­ton 11-5 on Satur­day.

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