16 Oct 2010

Canterbury easily repulse first shield challenge

10:01 pm on 16 October 2010

Canterbury had no trouble defending the Ranfurly Shield for the first time this season, beating Counties-Manukau 39-21 in Christchurch on Saturday.

The new holders, who took the shield back from Southland last week, consolidated their place at the top of the National Provincial Championship by scoring four tries to three.

Canterbury, who led 17-0 at half-time, now keep the shield for the summer.

On Saturday evening Wellington trounced Taranaki 49-15 in the capital and leapfrogged Taranaki to third in the points table.

But the victory was marred by a serious injury to Lions and All Black halfback Piri Weepu, who was stretchered off early in the second half with a broken leg.

Earlier in the day, Bay of Plenty beat Southland 33-22 in their championship match at Mount Maunganui.

In their final home match of the season the Steamers put on quite a spectacle for their fans. They scored their first try just two minutes after kick-off and went to the break 20-3 up.