Country win but where’s the shield

CELEBRATION: The victorious Canterbury Country rugby team enjoy their 31-20 win over Canterbury Metro without the Craw Shield at Kaiapoi on Sunday. Photo: Karen Casey.

Canterbury Country may have beaten Canterbury Metro for the first time in 10 years, on Sunday but they didn’t get their hands on the Craw Shield.

The piece of silverware was a glaring omission from the celebratory team photo after Canterbury Metro did not bring it with them to Kaiapoi.

Canterbury Country coach Nigel Smith said it was a frustrating post-match moment to realise the shield was not at the ground.

“I might have to take a drive to Rugby Park and pick it up myself,” Smith said yesterday morning,

“We still haven’t got our hands on it yet which is disappointing for the team,” he said.

“Perhaps Metro were confident of keeping it so they didn’t feel they needed to have it with them.”

Metro assistant coach Daniel O’Brien said it was not a case of sour grapes on the part of his team and instead blamed the Canterbury Rugby Union board.

“Usually it’s a member of the board who brings it out and our manager was certainly said to us post-match that there should have been a shield there at the game.”

Canterbury Country raced out to a 20-3 halftime lead on the back of some resolute defence and two intercept tries.

Smith praised the physical nature of the midfield and the breakdown and said the defensive structure was excellent.

“We really forced them to push the pass and that helped us gain those intercepts,” he said.

“We wanted to win that physical battle across the park and I think we did that which laid the platform for our win.”

Smith said Glenmark blinde side flanker Ben Anderson worked tirelessly while Glenmark midfielder Mike Keane was a wall in defence.

Smith reserved the biggest praise for utility flanker Jake Vincent saying he had his best game for the team.

O’Brien said Country deserved their win as they were able to shut down their attack and limit the width which they wanted to play with.

Canterbury Country will play Otago B in Dunedin on Saturday.

Brook Retallick, Ben Anderson (Glenmark), Tim Murgatroyd (Prebbleton), Sam Cottan (Lincoln) Mark Maitland and Harrison Kirk (Waihora) all earned selection for the Canterbury B team after the match.

CELEBRATION: The victorious Canterbury Country rugby team enjoy their 31-20 win over Canterbury Metro without the Craw Shield at Kaiapoi on Sunday. Photo: Karen Casey.

HOT FEET: Halfback Harry Pankhurst side-steps Morgan Innes, Photo: Karen Casey.

DETERMINED: Lock Mac Roqica refuses to give up in the tackle. Photo: Karen Casey.

POWER: Canterbury Country’s Jim Cummings tries to keep the ball. Photo: Karen Casey.

BIG BOOT: Canterbury Country’s Brook Retallick clears his lines. Photo: Karen Casey.

BIG MAN: Canterbury Country lock Isileli Fine is determined to get past Canterbury Metro defenders Harrison Courtney, left and Ben Morris. Photo: Karen Casey.

NEVER DOWN: Canterbury Country’s Tim Murgatroyd grabs a leg while on the ground trying to make a tackle. Photo: Karen Casey.

ON THE CHARGE: No 8 Daryl Lamborn tries to get through the defensive line. Photo: Karen Casey.

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