9.18pm



Canterbury won the NPC final at Westpac Stadium tonight in style.



The final score was 40-27.



There were fears as Richie McCaw, who has suffered from recurring headaches this year, went down to a crashing tackle right at the start of the second half. He proved to be OK.

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His side continued to show they were fine too, Marshall scoring his second try of the game shortly afterwards.



Canterbuy, who came into the game as many people's favourites, now looked like the Cake Tin held no fears for them. Daniel Carter again converted and the lead, which had been 20-13 at half-time, was 27-13.



Wellington didn't look like getting back into it despite make a number of replacements and when McCaw scored Canterbury's fourth try, the score was 37-13.



Carter showed his ruthless side opting to kick a penalty even with the large lead.



A try from Wellington's Tana Umaga with six minutes to go was no more than a consolation as it only brought the score back to 40-20 after the conversion.



Even a last minute try for Wellington was not enough.



Earlier in the game, Canterbury took a 6-3 lead after a series of early penalties, looking the more comfortable side in the opening minutes.



Wellington had looked less confident. But a run by Umaga helped to settle nerves and a penalty under the posts brought the scores level.



Minutes later, Wellington showed they were right in the game with a pass from Umaga setting up a try from Luke Andrews.



Referee Paddy O'Brien looked for a ruling as Corey Flynn appeared to have touched down for Canterbury after clattering into the posts. But a knock on was given.



They didn't have to wait long though as Justin Marshall scored a try made to look easy. The conversion from Daniel Carter brought the score level at 13-all.



Aaron Mauger turned the screw as Canterbury stepped up a gear with half-time approaching, scoring a try from a flowing move. Carter again converted making the score 20-13.



In the second half it was more of the same and Canterbury stormed to victory.



Canterbury 40 (Justin Marshall 2, Aaron Mauger, Richie McCaw tries; Daniel Carter 4 pen, 4 con)



Wellington 27 (Luke Andrews, Tana Umaga, Sireli Bobo tries; Piri Weepu 2 pen, 2 con, Jimmy Gopperth con)



Halftime: 20-13.



- HERALD STAFF, NZPA



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