Canterbury crush Counties to start FPC title defence

Canterbury have launched their quest for a fifth-straight Farah Palmer Cup title with a statement in Christchurch this afternoon, dismantling Counties-Manukau 59-12.

Braces to Grace Brooker and Kendra Cocksedge led the defending champions to the nine-try win after they carved out a 26-7 halftime lead.

Canterbury’s first half was capped off by a brilliant piece of playmaking from first-five Terauoriwa Gapper who fired a pinpoint cross-kick to the right corner for winger Isabella Waterman to collect and finish.

Cocksedge said after the final whistle the team were looking to instil their style of play early on in the match.

Grace Brooker goes in for a try with Liv McGoverne celebrating during the Farah Palmer Cup between Canterbury and Counties Manukau. Source: Photosport

"We're a pretty expansive side," Cocksedge said.

"Our girls are really fit and we've got great catch-pass, we've got great speed, and we want to continue to use that."

In the earlier game, Auckland ran away with a 44-12 win over Bay of Plenty at Eden Park, after holding a 15-5 lead at the break.

Last year's coronavirus pandemic meant the women's competition was under a truncated format.

The competition was split into north and south zones to save money, but this year it returns to a Premiership and Championship competition with 13 teams taking part.