On a weekend when Marlborough rugby celebrated the 40 year anniversary of their historic 1973 Ranfurly Shield win over Canterbury, and 125 years of rugby in this province, the Red and Blacks gatecrashed the party with a hard-fought 28-13 victory over the Tasman Makos at Lansdowne Park this afternoon.
The defending ITM Cup champions were more efficient at the breakdown and, although the scores were level 8-8 at halftime, the southerners pulled away to clinch victory in the second spell.
The Makos opened the scoring with an Andrew Symonds penalty before stretching their lead to 8-0 when winger James Lowe crossed in the 18th minute. Tyler Bleyendaal replied with a penlty for Canterbury before Adam Whitelock scored the first of his two tries to tie it up at the break.
Six minutes after halftime Bleyendaal and Crotty combined to put the second five eight over near the posts. Bleyendaal's conversion and subsequent penalty stretched the visitor's lead to 18-8 midway through the half before replacement halfback Kaide Whiting darted over for Tasman. Replacement first five Billy Guyton's conversion hit the post. Canterbury finished stronger on the back of a more efficient second half forward performance, Bleyendaal landing another penalty before setting up Whitelock for his double.
Canterbury 28 (Adam Whitelock 2 tries, Ryan Crotty try, Tyler Bleyendaal 3 pen 2 con) Tasman 13 (James Lowe, Kaide Whiting tries, Andrew Symonds pen).
In the curtainraiser to the ITM Cup match the Tasman B side, known as the White Pointers, were beaten 19-23 by Canterbury Colts after leading 16-3 at halftime, playing with the advantage of a strong breeze.
Otago Boys' High School booked a date with Press Cup holders Marlborough Boys' College in Dunedin next Sunday, beating Southland Boys' High School 29-24 to take out the Highlanders competition. The match will be played indoors at Forsyth Barr Stadium, as a curtainraiser to the Otago v Hawke's Bay Ranfurly Shield match.
Both Marlborough sides in the Top of the South competition suffered narrow losses in Nelson today. Central Pirates went down 2-3 to FC Nelson at Guppy Park while Marlborough Development lost 1-2 to Nelson Suburbs First XI. Suburbs win means they have taken out the Top of the South title this season.
Division one winners were Biddy Kates Rangers, 3-0 over Central, and BV Masters who downed Rangers Saints 6-2. In division two Pumprite Trojans beat Renwick 3-0 and BV Cobras downed Rangers Masters 2-1. Rangers United beat Trojans Masters 2-1 in division three while Picton Pumas and Picton Seniors drew 3-3.
Comprehensive reports on the ITM Cup football and in Monday's Marlborough Express.
- (Live Matches)
Who will win the Press Cup on Saturday, 2.30pm, Lansdowne Park, Blenheim?