19 Oct 2008

Canterbury into Air NZ Cup final

11:45 am on 19 October 2008

Canterbury have won through to a meeting with Wellington in the final of the Air New Zealand Cup rugby championship after beating Hawke's Bay 31-21 in their semifinal in Christchurch.

Hawke's Bay put in a worthy semi-final performance and were level at 14-all until midway through the second half, until Canterbury ran in two tries in two minutes to seal the match.

Injuries saw three players leave the field, with Canterbury losing left wing James Paterson in the opening minute and later halfback Andy Ellis, both to knee injuries.

Hawke's Bay captain and halfback Danny Lee was also forced to the sidelines in the 37th minute after a heavy knock.

Andrew Ellis, Colin Slade, Michael Paterson, and Kieran Read scored tries for Canterbury with Colin Slade kicking four conversions and a penalty. Karl Lowe scored two tries and Bryn Evans one for Hawke's Bay with Matt Berquist kicking three conversions.

The final will be in Wellington next Saturday night.