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Tasman Women no match for Canterbury

Centre Wairakau Greig scored one of Tasman's two tries against Canterbury.
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Centre Wairakau Greig scored one of Tasman's two tries against Canterbury.

Tasman showed some early fight but were eventually overwhelmed 67-12 by Canterbury in their Farah Palmer Cup women's rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday.

Canterbury, who stunned Counties with a remarkable second half comeback last week to win 32-29 in Pukekohe, now have 19 points at the premiership's summit after retaining the JJ Stewart Trophy against Tasman, the women's competition's equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield.

However, Tasman are still searching for their first win after four straight defeats.

"We took a hiding but it was a lot better than Otago," Tasman head coach Marty O'Cain said in reference to their 82-0 second round loss in Dunedin.

Tasman started strongly and led 12-5 after the first quarter through tries to centre Wairakau Greig and fullback Jess Drummond, No 8 Jess Foster adding a conversion.

"We took it to them, we outplayed them for 20 minutes. It was much better than Otago and once we got to the 40-point mark we just put the bench on. We protected a few for next week really and that depowered our scrum a bit."

Tasman's scrum was again impressive, stealing two early tightheads, with the forwards also adopting an effective close carrying game.

"It was working a treat, but you're putting a lot of workload on your forwards. They've got to scrum and they've got to carry continuously for eight or nine phases and that wore us down. But we're very pleased that it worked.

"Once we created that space out wide by sucking them in with the close ball, Jess and Wai ran some good holes to score our tries. But we couldn't keep it up for 80 minutes."

However, Canterbury gradually took control to eventually lead 31-12 at halftime before scoring an unanswered 36 points in the second half. Canterbury ended the match with 10 tries, winger Becky Davidson scoring a hat-trick and hooker Jess Hansen scoring twice.

Greig left the field at halftime with a leg injury which weakened Tasman's attack but along with Drummond and midfielder Staci Kohe again impressed in Tasman's backline. Loosies Kelly Stanford and Jess Foster and the front row of Stacey Davis, Steph Mitchell and Kelly Couper were strong up front. 

Tasman's next match is against North Harbour at Trafalgar Park next Sunday.

AT A GLANCE

Canterbury 67 (Becky Davidson 3, Jess Hansen 2, Sam Curtis, Estele Uren, Nicole Purdom, Chelsea Bremner, Cassie Siataga tries, Kendra Cocksedge 5 con, Charntey Poko con) Tasman 12 (Waikarau Greig, Jess Drummond tries, Jess Foster con) HT: 31-12