Win takes Canterbury women to top of table
Black Fern Kelly Brazier grabbed four tries against her former Otago team-mates as Canterbury shot to the top of the national women's championship points table.
The game between previous pacesetters Auckland against Hawke's Bay was postponed due to air travel problems and the scene is now set for a top-of-the-table tussle when Canterbury visit Auckland on Saturday.
The red-and-blacks won 54-15 in the southern derby at Rugby Park yesterday but Canterbury coach Sarah Helmore still wasn't entirely happy with the collective performance after watching her charges run in nine tries.
"I don't think it was one of our best efforts," Helmore said. "I was a bit disappointed at the amount of turnovers and our work at the breakdown. We played to the strength of the Otago team, which is their forward pack. We needed to stretch them out wide."
Otago scored first but Canterbury responded with tries to Black Ferns Amiria Rule and Casey Robertson for a slender halftime lead.
Helmore said Canterbury dominated the second half through their superior fitness and scored some good tries, with Brazier running rampant in the Canterbury backline and Erica Prescott dotting down twice on the wing. Juliana Petronelli completed Canterbury's scoring.
Brazier and loose forwards Robertson and Olivia Coady had fine individual games for Canterbury and prop Angela Woolley was prominent around the field and at the breakdown.
But Helmore will be demanding a better collective display in "the biggest game of the round against Auckland" and for another big challenge against Wellington.
Canterbury 54 (Kelly Brazier 4, Erica Prescott 2, Amiria Rule, Casey Robertson, Juliana Petronelli tries; Brazier pen, 3 conv) Otago 15