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Monday, October 29, 2012

Canterbury claim fifth successive title with ITM Cup Final win over Auckland

Canterbury claimed their fifth successive New Zealand Provincial Championship win as they beat Auckland 31-18 in the ITM Cup Premiership final in Christchurch. Referee Glen Jackson came under fire though for two decisions in particular.

Auckland struck early before the hosts hit back, but a certain try was snuffed out by a deliberate tap down from Canterbury winger Telusa Veainu shortly before halftime. Referee Jackson sent him to the sinbin, and despite a three man overlap, opted against awarding a penalty try.

Auckland were 13-10 up at the time, but instead went into the break trailing 15-13. Coach Wayne Pivac wasn't happy, but Jackson said that without the aid of a replay, it was a tough call to make.

"I think Wayne's definitely got a reason to bring that up. I have had a look at it and I think there was one guy coming across but, three on one, 20 metres out - and that's the beauty of the replay - he's probably got a good argument there," Jackson told Radio Sport.

"I didn't actually know who was behind in terms of cover, and that would have made the biggest difference. Five metres out, you can see that quite clearly."

Canterbury scored again in the second half after Andy Ellis snatched the ball from the base of a ruck after it appeared that Jackson had initially told him he had no rights to. Auckland were livid, but Jackson explained what happened afterwards.

"Andy was never in an illegal position to play. At the time, the ball was still in the ruck. And when I said no, he didn't go, then the ball actually came clear. It is disappointing that it's come up that I said no, but Andy had all rights to carry on and do what he did.

"Hence why, when he did actually play at the ball, we played on," Jackson added.

Tom Taylor ended the game with 23 points and while Auckland scored a late consolation try, it was their only points of the second half and Canterbury went on to celebrate another famous win.

Posted at 8:58 am | 5 comments

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Viewing 5 comments

Ottawa Rugger October 29, 2012 5:53 pm

As far as the first controversial call goes, without a replay it doesn't seem too intentional, and he does play it afterwards. Besides, penalty tries should be awarded very sparingly and only when it is absolutely clear that a try would have been scored. Who's to say there wouldn't have been an errant pass or something like that?

As far as the second one goes, it does look like the ruck had collapsed, and over to the side no less. I agree with the ref's justification. It seems like he was saying "no" when the ball was still in the ruck but then came out when the ruck ceased to be.

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Canadian content October 30, 2012 1:50 am

Agreed, ball was out, steal is fine, I much prefer this kind of open, competitve play for the ball, rather than cynical 9 play, standing over it, not really part of the ruck, slowing the game down. I think more competition for the ball at the back of the ruck, old school style, will open up the game.

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ruckinmaul October 30, 2012 2:01 am

how on earth did Wellington lost to Auckland in the Semi? Wellington was on fire. Anyone knows the score? Really do think Tim Bateman is a pure no.10. Attack the defensive line and distribute the ball brilliantly. Better than Beauden i reckon. But, yeah, his kicking game is not that good.

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macmurchu October 31, 2012 12:46 pm

Maybe it's my internet but the 'no' call came after Ellis had the ball in his hands

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Gonzoman October 31, 2012 10:42 pm

@ Ottawa Rugger - I think calling an intentional knock-on was a bit harsh, but if you're going to penalise and card for it in a 3-on-1, then at that level you should probably award a penalty try. The chances of one of those fellows spilling a 5m pass with no real defensive pressure are slim to none. P.S.: I'm also from Ottawa...are you associated with any of the clubs in town?

Second call: I agree...ruck was over, Aucks scrummy was waiting, Ellis was clever. Play on.

Back to the knock-on: I think Jackson was good to say that in hindsight he could have gone further. I don't blame him for not awarding the penalty...he didn't really have time to check on where the cover defence was, and had no replay at the time. Not his fault, and really part of the game. Refs are human...the teams make more mistakes than the ref does, so to say that one call forced Auckland to lose assumes that they didn't make any mistakes and scored on every opportunity.

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