21 Oct 2013

Canterbury book final against Wellington

11:19 am on 21 October 2013

Canterbury has thrashed Auckland 56-26 in Christchurch to book a provincial rugby Premiership final against Wellington in the capital this weekend.

Canterbury only led 25-19 at half-time but scored four of their seven tries after the break.

The five-time defending champions scored first through Tyler Bleyendaal then Auckland replied through Simon Hickey, but tries to Andy Ellis and Nasi Manu got the hosts firmly in front.

Bleyendaal kicked two conversions and two penalties, while Hickey kicked four penalties as well as Auckland's lone conversion.

Captain George Whitelock finished off Canterbury's fourth try just after half-time, which Bleyendaal converted for a 32-19 lead.

Auckland struck back through teenage wing Vince Aso to give the visitors a sniff at 32-26 down once Hickey converted, with about 25 minutes to go.

Bleyendaal nailed his third penalty for a 35-26 lead before replacement Jordan Taufua scored another Canterbury try, which Blyendaal also converted for a comprehensive 42-26 lead.

Ryan Crotty put the result beyond doubt with Canterbury's sixth try, while the icing on the cake was Sebastian Siataga's try, followed by Bleyendaal's sixth conversion.

It's Canterbury's sixth straight ITM Cup final.