Canterbury defeats Auckland in ITM Cup final

Auckland failed to end Canterbury's winning streak in provincial rugby on Saturday night as the red and blacks secured their fifth successive ITM Cup title with a 31-18 victory in Christchurch.

The hosts led 15-13 at half time, but held Auckland scoreless until the final play of the second spell to continue their dominance of provincial rugby.

Auckland threatened early in the game, holding the lead for the majority of the first half, but lost their way after the break until replacement Lolagi Visinia crossed the line in the final act of the game.

It was Canterbury fullback Tom Taylor who proved to be the Auckland's undoing, scoring two tries and slotting three penalties and two conversions for a personal haul of 23 points to break the record for most points scored in a final.

Auckland's Daniel Braid became the first player since Eroni Clarke to play 100 games for the side, but unfortunately it was not a game to savour as Canterbury trounced the blue and whites in the second half.

Canterbury 31 (Tom Taylor 2, Telusa Veainu tries,Taylor 2 con, 3 pen, Tyler Bleyendaal drop goal)

Auckland 18  (Hadleigh Parkes, Lolagi Visinia tries; Gareth Anscombe con, 2 pen)

- The Aucklander

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