Hawke's Bay 3 Canterbury 44
McLean Park, Napier
This month the Southland rugby captain, Jamie Mackintosh, wrote a letter of apology which was published on the front page of the Southland Times after the Stags were thrashed by Canterbury.
Hawke's Bay fans may demand a similar apology from the Magpies if they repeat last night's disgraceful display in this ITM Cup Premiership encounter when they challenge Waikato for the Ranfurly Shield in Hamilton on Saturday.
After last night's loss the Shield game will be a must-win game for the Magpies if they are to avoid relegation. As with the weekend's loss to the Turbos, there was little from the Magpies for fans to enthuse about.
It was far from the performance captain and No8 Karl Lowe deserved in his 90th first-class outing for the side. One positive was the fact the hosts restricted Canterbury to just two second-half tries until replacement openside flanker Matt Todd scored seconds from the final hooter.
Hawke's Bay age-group product and Canterbury lock Dominic Bird celebrated his return home with a player-of-the match performance. He was accurate at lineout time, extremely mobile in the loose and also produced a couple of clever unloads.
Magpies assistant coach Danny Lee said at halftime his troops weren't accurate enough and they didn't make the most of their first-half opportunities. His second-half summation wouldn't have been much different.
The Magpies won the early kicking duel and gained the territorial advantage. Magpies second five-eighth Andrew Horrell opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty when the Cantabs didn't roll away at ruck time.
Canterbury equalised two minute later when second five-eighth Tom Taylor succeeded with a handy penalty. The Magpies were unlucky not to score a try in the 10th minute when a forward pass was ruled in a tryscoring situation by Bay of Plenty referee Nick Briant.
Magpies prop Brendon Edmonds was penalised for the second time in the 15th minute for not rolling away and Taylor put Canterbury in front for the first time.
Hawke's Bay applied plenty of pressure and had heaps of possession during the first 25 minutes but penalties conceded proved costly, with six conceded during this period while only one was awarded in the hosts' favour.
Canterbury seldom entered their attacking 22 but when they did they scored. A poor Magpies lineout saw Canterbury captain and openside flanker George Whitelock score in the 28th minute.
Taylor converted and the visitors led 13-3.
Canterbury extended this lead to 18-3 in the 38th minute when hooker Codie Taylor scored. By this stage the visitors were spotting mismatches and exploiting them with ease.
The Magpies' suspect defence continued when in-form Canterbury fullback Johnny McNicholl scored after the halftime hooter and Taylor converted from wide out to give the visitors a 25-3 halftime lead.
Hawke's Bay's poor execution continued during the third quarter. Canterbury scored their bonus-point try in the 51st minute when No8 Nasi Manu crashed over after the Cantabs capitalised on more inaccurate play from the Magpies. The Magpies' defence then held until the 73rd minute when Whitelock's brother, flanker Luke Whitelock, scored. Taylor converted.
In the curtainraiser, the North Ross Shield Selection pipped the South Selection 20-19. Hawke's Bay's Tremains Rippa Rugby final saw Frimley School beat Tiaho School.