Canterbury come home in final quarter

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Saturday, September 1, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Canterbury had to work hard to contain a Bay of Plenty scrum that had the home team in front 19-14 early in the second half.

But by the final quarter, Canterbury's know-how and player resource saw them finally quell the home effort which ended their winning start to the season.

Scrum power and determined defence were vital assets in the first three quarters of the game for Bay of Plenty. Canterbury nearly scored twice in the first few minutes in the left-hand corner as wings Josh McKay and Caleb Makene were both bustled out by good tackles made by home fullback Kaleb Trask.

But from the second attempt, Canterbury kept the pressure on and it was McKay who scored the first try.

However, the home team ran the ball from their own line and wing Chase Tiatia made a fine sideline break and then kicked ahead to see the ball roll out in the Canterbury 22m. Bay of Plenty won a scrum in the resulting play and Tiatia burst into the backline at speed to break the first line of defence to score a fine try.

Bay of Plenty made another downfield break with Tiatia prominent again and the confidence of the home team was apparent at a series of scrums which tested the Canterbury scrum. When the ball was released for the backs Trask ran into the line only to be dragged down just short, but from the breakdown halfback Richard Judd threw a longer ball out to lock Tyler Ardron who was able to run over for the try.

Canterbury stormed straight back onto attack and from a lineout move fullback George Bridge got over the advantage line only to be tripped. However, in the resulting play prop Daniel Lienert-Brown got a short pass and drove over.

Canterbury, under normal circumstances, would have scored just before halftime except for Bay of Plenty's scrum hard on defence producing a shove to upset Canterbury's ball. Bay of Plenty won a penalty and cleared their line to go to halftime down 12-14.

More forward power early in the second half saw Bay camped on the Canterbury line and from a drive at the line, the ball was taken from the back of the maul by Judd who ran across to feed second five-eighths Terrence Hepetema in under the posts.

Canterbury's response was typical, they upped the tempo of the game, applied their own scrum power with lock Luke Romano applying his experience to lead the way both in the scrum and in lineout play. Reward came when in the 55th minute from play on Bay of Plenty's line, first five-eighths Brett Cameron noticed the bunched home defence so flung a long ball out to McKay who crossed for his second.

Duane Monkley Medal points: Luke Romano 3, Tyler Ardron 2, Brett Cameron 1.

Scorers: Bay of Plenty 19 (Chase Tiatia, Tyler Ardron, Terrence Hepetema tries; Mike Delany 2 con) Canterbury 31 (Josh McKay 2, Daniel Lienert-Brown, penalty try tries; Brett Cameron 3 con, pen).