Belief was vital weapon for Canterbury - Mo'unga

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Saturday, October 29, 2016    Getty Images

At the start of the season they decided they wanted to make it eight out of nine competition wins and it had been exciting to achieve that, he said.

"We knew it was going to be tough and credit to Tassie they really brought it. We knew we had to hold onto the ball, and we knew they were going to get chances and we had to defend like we did last week [against Counties Manukau]," he told SKYSports.

"We talked about starting well. In finals footy the team that gets a good start, they've got the upper hand and we just knew how crucial it was to start well and that's what we did," he said.

While there was some confidence in the way Canterbury came back almost immediately after each Tasman try, Mo'unga said another word might be belief.

"We believed in each other and believed in our systems and being part of a team that believes in each other and we trust what Razor [Scott Robertson-coach] set out for us to do and it shows out on the field," he said.

Successful captain Luke Whitelock said they knew Tasman would put in a good effort and they were always big games between the two and the final had been no different.

But Canterbury had been able to put in an 80-minute effort, he said. Whitelock added that the nature of the Mitre 10 Cup campaign made the use of the squad important and he felt Canterbury had done that well.

Tasman halfback Billy Guyton said they had cost themselves when conceding points in crucial moments when it was vital to win those little battles.

"A couple of times we switched off and turned the ball and Canterbury, the side they are, were good enough to pounce on anything and they got the points in the end," he said.

There had been some miscommunication as Canterbury scored from a chargedown after only 47 seconds and that hadn't helped but the side had hung in all the way but it wasn't enough against a good Canterbury team.

Captain Shane Christie said Tasman had to be proud of what they had done this season. There were 15 new caps named at the start of the season and they had done well to come through to play in the finals.

He also paid tribe to departing veterans for the side, first five-eighths Marty Banks and mid-fielder Kieron Fonotia who are both heading overseas.