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Canterbury run riot over hapless Magpies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/09/2016

Canterbury have extended their winning streak to four matches, dismantling NPC rugby premiership newcomers Hawke's Bay 63-7 in Christchurch on Sunday.

The defending champions ran in eight tries to one, opening out a six-point lead over second-placed Taranaki at the top of the premiership table.

Hawke's Bay, winless now from five matches, struggled from the outset as Canterbury jumped out to a 10-0 lead after five minutes.

Winger George Bridge kick-started proceedings in finishing off a set-piece move from an attacking lineout, with first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga adding the conversion and a penalty.

Mo'unga slotted another couple of penalties, but Hawke's Bay managed to stay in touch when Matt Garland gathered in a dangerous chip and chase and offloaded for Jonah Lowe to touch down.

However Lowe's sinbinning for a dangerous tackle at the 30 minute mark left the Magpies a man down, and Canterbury capitalised in the shadow of halftime.

Mo'unga's quick thinking and quicker feet made the initial break, then smart recycling at the breakdown and a slick offload put Scott Barrett across out wide to give Canterbury a 23-7 halftime lead.

Hawke's Bay's defensive lapses continued to dog them in the second spell, the missed tackles proving costly as Canterbury swept the length of the field before lock Dominic Bird crashed over three minutes after the restart.

Hooker Ben Funnell added the fourth after an armchair ride at the back of an unstoppable Canterbury maul, then replacement winger Nathan Earle made it five with 15 minutes still on the clock.

Canterbury continued to finish with ruthless efficiency, centre Rob Thompson grabbing a double and fullback Jordie Barrett also adding to the tally as the home team ran riot with 40 unanswered second-half points.

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