26 Sep 2009

Northland and Canterbury make it an all-out Shield challenge

4:15 pm on 26 September 2009

Northland put up a surprisingly strong challenge for the Ranfurly Shield but Canterbury have held on to the trophy, winning their Air New Zealand Cup rugby match 31-21 in Christchurch.

Top of the table Canterbury led 16-15 at half time, and despite a stunning try by the defenders within a minute of the restart, Northland fought back to tie the game up 21-all.

But winger Sean Maitland crossed for his second try which Stephen Brett converted and then capped with a dropped goal, putting Canterbury well in front and able to hold off a stubborn Northland effort for the final ten minutes.

The loss leaves Northland third from bottom on the table.