TRILLO CANTERBURY WOMEN’S SHOW SECOND-HALF FIGHT AGAINST VULCANS
The Trillo Metals Canterbury Women’s team were again gallant in NZRL National Premiership defeat, closing out their round-robin campaign with a plucky 36-16 loss to Auckland Vulcans on the road at Navigation Homes Park.
Canterbury, missing the likes of Sui Pauaraisa for this match, held the Vulcans to three tries apiece in the second half, making a hot start after the break.
The unbeaten Vulcans’ pace and power out wide, as well as their mobility and footwork through the middle, paved the way for a 20-0 halftime lead.
Canterbury opened up several opportunities but were unable to capitalise, while Auckland was able to convert most of its visits to the opposition end into points.
The visitors got off to a flyer in the second half, however, with the Vulcans failing to contain a well-placed kick from half Terauoriwa Gapper, allowing winger Sailiau Pau to pounce out wide.
The Trillo Metals Canterbury side cut the deficit to 10 points after some dummy-half guile from Caitlin Sears. The clever hooker drifted across the Auckland goal-line to open up space for Christine Farlow to crash over.
The Vulcans stopped the comeback in its tracks with three unanswered tries – the latter a sensational 45-metre solo effort from Kiwi Ferns great Krystal Rota, who announced her international retirement earlier in the week.
But Canterbury had the last say through Gapper, who showed tremendous determination to muscle her way over from close range in the tackle of two Vulcans players. Kaylee Tavendale nailed a handy conversion, her second of the match.
Fielding a host of newcomers – to the Canterbury team and rugby league – the Shade McGregor-Pakau led outfit has laid a solid foundation for future campaigns, despite being unable to get off the mark in the win column.
The Vulcans move into next week’s final against Akarana Falcons.
Auckland Vulcans 36 defeated Trillo Metals Canterbury Women’s 16 (Sailiau Pau, Christine Farlow, Caitlin Sears tries; Kaylee Tavendale 2 goals) at Navigation Homes Park, Auckland.