Canterbury back at Auckland's expense
Wed, 29 Aug 2012 9:58p.m.
Defending champions Canterbury have bounced back from their surprise opening-round defeat to down traditional rivals Auckland 33-11 in the national provincial rugby championship.
Canterbury's victory in Christchurch on Wednesday night was set up in the first half, during which they opened out a 20-11 lead.
Their structure and continuity, and their eagerness to move the ball wide helped to produce two tries to halfback Andy Ellis during the opening spell.
They were then able to play the game mostly in opposition territory, pulling further in front after fullback Tom Taylor - who landed all five of his shots at goal - added two more penalties.
Canterbury were already heading comfortably for victory when Ellis's replacement, Willi Heinz, scored in the final minute to open out the margin.
Upset by Tasman 25-22 last Friday, Canterbury showed their attacking intent from the opening whistle as they ran the ball at Auckland.
But it was the visitors, looking to build on their win over Hawke's Bay last week, who got on the board first with just a minute gone and against the run of play.
From a turnover deep in his own territory, lively centre Malakai Fekitoa made a big break that was eventually finished off by winger Ben Lam.
The home side hit back with their own long-range effort, starting from a scrum just outside their own 22 and ending with Ellis dotting down.
Ellis' second try on 27 minutes summed up Canterbury's performance.
They showed admirable patience and control as they worked the ball to both flanks, before the gap finally opened up for second five-eighth Ryan Crotty to slice through and send Ellis over.
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