7 Nov 2009

Slade the star as Canterbury win Air New Zealand Cup

9:40 pm on 7 November 2009

Canterbury defeated Wellington 28-20 in the final of the Air New Zealand Cup in Christchurch on Saturday night.

The hosts were ahead 18-3 at halftime at AMI Stadium and withstood a late fightback from the Lions to take the national provincial championship for the seventh time.

Fullback Colin Slade scored two tries in the first half while winger Sean Maitland got another for the pre-match favourites and defending champions. Stephen Brett struck three penalties and two conversions.

Alapati Leuia and Scott Fuglistaller scored Wellington's tries.

Wellington have played eight finals in the last 11 years, winning just once, in 2000 and have lost in the past four finals.

When they met in the fifth round, Canterbury romped home with the Ranfurly Shield by thumping of an out-of-sorts Wellington 36-14.