Ellesmere win Southbridge Shield
Fijian flyers Willie McGoon and Pene Manu Manu both scored tries as Ellesmere beat North Canterbury 33-20 at Prebbleton this afternoon to win the Southbridge Shield representative rugby match for a seventh successive season.
The shield holders scored four tries to two and dominated the physical exchanges with their tight forwards, notably front rowers Mike Rowe, Gareth Pietzner and Scott McIlroy, particularly prominent.
Ellesmere led 25-10 at halftime after an early try to fullback Jared Court. McGoon left three defenders in his wake on a 65m run to the try-line and flanker Sam Dickson scored from a ruck after a big bust by Rowe. Fullback Grant Broderson struck back with a well-constructed try for North Canterbury after a quick tap penalty taken by captain Ben Frame and two strong surges by backrowers Brian Anderson and Willie Kerr.
North Canterbury were denied a try just after the interval when referee Spencer Tait consulted a touch judge and ruled halfback Tevita Vea had been held up on the line and instead ordered a 5m scrum.
Young lock Logan Telfer scored North Canterbury's second try when Ellesmere were down to 14 men after Canterbury ITM squad prop Joe Moody, a second-half replacement in the back row, was sinbinned for a dangerous, piledriver tackle on Vea.
But Manu Manu scored the clinching try for Ellesmere after North Canterbury failed to secure the ball from the restart.
Ellesmere 33 (Jared Court, Willie McGoon, Sam Dickson, Pene Manu Manu tries; Barney-John Te Kani 3 pen, 2 conv) beat North Canterbury 20 (Grant Broderson, Logan Telfer tries; Baydon Phillips 2 conv, 2 pen). HT: 25-10. Referee: Spencer Tait.