Canterbury add to Waikato's misery
Thursday, August 29, 2013 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Colin Slade started out at fullback and demonstrated all the skills that attracted the All Blacks selectors to him before his horrific run of injuries and played a key part in the first three Canterbury tries.
Wing Patrick Osborne may have had to wait until the last minute for try scoring reward but he was a dangerous runner every time he handled the ball and his try was the icing on Canterbury's cake.
Canterbury's tight forwards faced a formidable Waikato unit of Ben Tameifuna, Toby Smith and Brayden Mitchell in the front row but they were undeterred and created the foundation that gave the home team an ascendancy that was only rarely challenged.
Flanker Matt Todd was a consistent link man and the further the game went the more George Whitelock was involved as witnessed by his 71st minute try. Both were involved in the 75th minute try scored by Slade.
One visitor who did create a chance that could have breathed life into the Waikato effort was wing Semisi Masirewa. Waikato produced a combative third quarter. Masirewa sliced open the Canterbury defences with a scorching 50-metre run which only failed to produce a try when his pass to midfield supporter Save Tokula was forward.
But Canterbury regained their poise and finished strongly to take full toll of a Waikato effort that quickly deteriorated and which wasn't helped by a plethora of penalties conceded.
The early signs were not good for Waikato as they struggled against a Canterbury scrum that hit its straps from the outset, lifting Waikato props Toby Smith and Ben Tameifuna with ease.
And when a lineout infringement saw Canterbury opt for a scrum in the 14th minute, quick hands from first five-eighths Tyler Bleyendaal and Slade provided enough room for wing Milford Keresoma to beat two tacklers on a sideline break to score.
Ten minutes later Keresoma was in again, courtesy of tidying work by second five-eighths Ryan Crotty after Waikato lock Brian Alainu'uese disrupted halfback Willie Heinz's clearance from a ruck. Running around behind the maul, Crotty linked with the ever-present Slade who flicked a long pass to Keresoma who had an easier path to the goal-line.
Waikato got on the board after 29 minutes when first five-eighths Wharenui Hawera landed a penalty goal.
However, Canterbury growing in confidence unleashed a team try, created after fine efforts by props Paea Fa'anunu and Nepo Laulala who created drive which allowed Slade's quick hands to allow Osborne to set up hooker Ben Funnell for the try.
Down 3-21 at the break, Waikato lost skipper and centre Jackson Willison and he was replaced by Tim Mikkelson. Canterbury were caught off-side in front of their posts and from the penalty kick to the corner Waikato launched a maul at the line and it was hooker Brayden Mitchell who scored.
A messy third quarter for Canterbury was resolved after an interchange of errors from both sides finally saw centre Adam Whitelock score from a lineout play although it needed a TMO check on a possible obstruction by flanker Matt Todd which must have been touch and go. However, it was ruled replacement halfback Andy Ellis' run to the line was legal and he linked with Whitelock who scored Canterbury's bonus point try.
Canterbury 47 (Milford Keresoma 2, Ben Funnell, Adam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Colin Slade, Patrick Osborne tries; Bleyendaal con, 2 pen; Colin Slade 2 con) Waikato 10 (Brayden Mitchell try; Wharenui Hawera con, pen ). HT: 21-3
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