Canterbury repel spirited Makos
August 24, 2013
Ryan Crotty scored the key try a week after making his Test debut in Sydney
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Canterbury, the five-time defending champions, looked set to assert themselves against their Championship opponents when Ryan Crotty, back in the side after making his All Blacks debut off the bench in the Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney, scored their second try early in the second half. Tyler Bleyendaal converted then kicked a penalty to establish a 10-point margin with a quarter of the match to play.
Tasman kept plugging away, however, and they hit back when replacement scrum-half Kaide Whiting found a hole around a ruck to cap a multi-phase attack; but 18-13 was as close as the Makos got. Bleyendaal kicked another penalty to put Canterbury beyond the seven-point margin again, and Adam Whitelock scored his second try five minutes from full-time to blow out the margin.
Tasman had gone into the match looking for a repeat of history, a year to the day after they had upset Canterbury 25-22 at the same ground, and they made an enterprising start into the wind. Andy Symonds got them on the board with a penalty, and the Makos went further ahead with a fine team try - the ball passing through countless pairs of hands before winger James Lowe dotted down in the corner.
Canterbury replied almost immediately through Jamie Verran, but the video referee ruled the fullback had failed to ground the ball. The champions had to wait until the 22nd minute before opening their account, with a Bleyendaal penalty, and they equalised when Whitelock touched down on the half-hour after good inter-passing among the backs.
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