Thursday, November 05, 2009
Canterbury will host the Air New Zealand Cup Final after they comfortably beat Hawkes Bay 20-3 in the Semi last weekend in Christchurch.
The game started with what would have been one of the fastest tries ever, as Sean Maitland fed the ball inside after some great hands, but it was not to be unfortunately.
It didn't take them long to make up for it though, scoring after 8 minutes through impressive lock Sam Whitelock. A Michael Paterson charge down then allowed Isaac Ross to dive over for an opportunist try.
Hawkes Bay prop Sona Taumalolo was lucky to stay on the park after a 'dip' tackle went unpunished by referee Jonathan White. A few years back it probably would have been a good call, but these days rules are rules and you can't lift a player like that any more.
A Clint Newlands turnover allowed Canterbury to shirt it wide to speedster Maitland once again, who calmly fed the the supporting Stephen Brett for an excellent try which put them out of sight.
Canterbury will play Wellington in the final on Saturday night, after they beat Southland in the other semi.
"The boys are really excited about the challenge ahead. It will be difficult because Wellington are a very good side but we are determined to give it everything," said head coach Rob Penney
"This match should be an absolute cracker. Both teams like to run the ball so there will be no shortage of excitement. We hope to see a big crowd there to add to what will be a great atmosphere," he added.
Regarding the crowd, the AMI Stadium is currently undergoing construction ahead of the 2011 World Cup. Unfortunately it doesn't look great on TV, but the crowd on the near side will be packed I'm sure.