Slade back in action
July 2, 2011
Slade played the first half of Canterbury's victory over North Otago © Getty Images
All Blacks hopeful Colin Slade made a successful return to club rugby as Canterbury retained the Ranfurly Shield with a 52-8 victory over North Otago on Saturday.
The 23-year-old safely negotiated a solid 40 minutes of game-time as his side overwhelmed their rivals in a pre-season rugby match at Rugby Park in Christchurch. Despite being out for much of the Super Rugby season after breaking his jaw twice playing for the Highlanders, Slade was picked for this week's All Blacks training camp, indicating he was still in the frame for World Cup selection as back-up to first choice fly-half to Dan Carter.
Slade showed good control in his all-round game in the pivot's position and did not shirk defensive duties as Canterbury took a comfortable 26-3 lead at halftime. Their points came through tries to fullback Johnny McNicholl, captain and blindside flanker Ash Parker, openside flanker Brendon O'Connor and halfback Willie Heinz with second-five Tom Taylor converting the latter three. North Otago's points came from a Ben Patston penalty.
Canterbury scored another four tries in the second half through substitute midfielder Kolio Hifo, left wing Patrick Osborne, Taylor and McNicholl. North Otago, making their 11th challenge for the shield, scored a consolation try with seven minutes to go through substitute prop Rob Mafileo.
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