An illness-stricken Canterbury team have clung on to the Ranfurly Shield, holding off a determined Otago challenge in Christchurch for a 30-24 win.
The match, which also doubled as a national provincial championship crossover game, sparked into life in the second half, after a low-scoring first spell gave the holders an 8-5 lead at the break.
Canterbury dominated possession and territory, but trailed early on, after Otago first-five Josh Ioane sliced onto an inside ball from Teihorangi Walden to score.
Missing at least four first-choice players after a late outbreak of illness, Canterbury were still rock solid at the set piece, but could only boast a try to hooker Ben Funnell from the opening 40 minutes.
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They upped the tempo in the second stanza, Richie Mo'unga testing the Otago line constantly and helping create two tries in the opening 10 minutes.
First lock Mitchell Dunshea, then centre Tim Bateman crossed, as Canterbury opened out to a 20-5 lead.
But just as they were starting to look comfortable, Canterbury's lack of accuracy on attack allowed Otago back in. Wing Mitchell Scott pounced on a wayward Mo'unga pass, his intercept try narrowing Canterbury's lead to 20-12 after 54 minutes.
Sam Anderson-Heather and Jona Nareki crossed in the space of three minutes to give Otago a 24-20 lead with 10 minutes remaining, but replacement flanker Jed Brown's 78th-minute try and a late Mo'unga penalty saw the Shield holders home.
Canterbury's next Ranfurly Shield defence will be against Southland on September 8.