Magpies mauled by classy Canterbury

Getty Images

Friday, September 1, 2017    Getty Images

Hawkes Bay hadn’t beaten Canterbury since 1982 and needed a strong start to have any chance of breaking the 35-year-old losing streak. They did exactly that by dominating possession in the opening five minutes and picking up a 3-0 lead from an Ihaia West penalty. 


But three-pointers were never going to be enough and Canterbury showed why by scoring a try from nowhere moments later. In what should have been an innocuous run up field, Canterbury fullback George Bridge busted the Magpies defence wide open to set up a try for first five-eighth Cameron Brett.

With wet conditions under foot at McLean Park, the remainder of the first half turned into a slog-fest as both packs looked to barrel the ball forward and a kicking game prevailed out wide. Hawkes Bay were rewarded for their patience when Hugh Renton barged over after a slow and steady forward build up close to the Canterbury line.

With time up in the first half, and the score locked at 10-10, Canterbury pivot Cameron Brett slotted a 40 metre penalty to claim the 10-13 lead at the break. 

Straight after the break, it was all too easy for Canterbury as wing Mitchell Suckling jogged in as the Hawke’s Bay defence were caught napping. In a flash, Hawke’s Bay had gone from being level with Canterbury to trailing by 10 points.

The home-side then had no answer as Canterbury took complete control. With their pack providing plenty of front foot ball, Canterbury were relentless as Mitchell Suckling and youngster Braydon Ennor completed classy doubles to make it 39-10.

There was a period of respite for Hawke’s Bay as Canterbury went down to 14 men due to a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. But it wasn’t to last for long as 19-year-old outside back Josh McKay and the blockbusting Inga Finau scored to put the finishing touches on the 53-10 victory.

While Canterbury’s attacking was impressive, their defence was just as influential. For all their trying, the Magpies just couldn’t penetrate a Canterbury defensive line that didn’t lose its poise for the entire 80 minutes.

Hawke’s Bay 10 (Hugh Renton try, Ihaia West pen) Canterbury 53 (Marshall Suckling 2, Braydon Ennor 2, Josh McKay, Inga Finau tries, Brett Cameron try, 6 con, 2 pen)
HT: 10-13