Late comeback not enough for Canterbury as Auckland remain unbeaten after titanic NPC battle

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of this afternoon's Mitre 10 Cup clash between Canterbury and Auckland at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

FULLTIME -  Canterbury 29 Auckland 34

Auckland teammates celebrate TJ Faiane of Auckland try during the Mitre 10 Cup rugby match, Canterbury v Auckland, Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, 16th September 2018.Copyright photo: John Davidson /
Auckland teammates celebrate TJ Faiane of Auckland scoring against Canterbury in Christchurch. Source: Photosport

TRY! Reserve hooker Brodie McAlister has scored a crucial try to earn his side a bonus point with Canterbury having the last say.

80 mins: Canterbury 22 Auckland 34

TRY! A consolation try for the home team as reserve prop Chris King burrows his way over for a five-pointer from close range.

The conversion is on target.

70 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 34

TRY! Canterbury's set piece move goes horribly wrong with Auckland's Tumua Manu making a perfect read and he intercepts the ball. He goes 80m untouched and has scored what should be the match winner.

Harry Plummer is successful with his shot at goal.

65 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 27

MISS! Auckland's Harry Plummer misses a difficult penalty attempt from over 40m out to extend Auckland's lead.

62 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 27

Both teams guilty of trying to push the pass when it is not on - a lot of mistakes here midway through the second half. Auckland has been superb on defence forcing a number of turnovers deep inside their own 22.

48 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 27

TRY! Auckland go end-to-end! TJ Faiane is in for his third try of the game. A great play by Auckland as they attempt a cross field kick deep inside their own 22 with Melani Nanai regathering the ball and throwing it inside the field of play. Auckland decide to go blindside and Nanai finds himself in space and passes the ball to Faiane who finishes it off.

Akira Ioane heads to the try line.
Auckland v Tasman, Mitre 10 Cup National Provincial Rugby Championship. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Friday 7 September 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /
Auckland's number eight Akira Ioane in action against Tasman. Source: Photosport

Harry Plummer's kick at goal hits the uprights.

40 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 22

And we are back underway! Canterbury kick off to Auckland and the visitors have fumbled the ball. Canterbury have a scrum on Auckland's 22m line.

HALFTIME - Canterbury 15 Auckland 22

38 mins: Canterbury 15 Auckland 22

TRY! Sef Fa'agase charges over to score a crucial try for the home after an initial solid run by Reed Prinsep.

The kick is on target by Brent Cameron.

30 mins: Canterbury 8 Auckland 22

TRY! The Auckland forwards keep it in close and rumble it up with several pick and go's. Auckland halfback Jonathan Ruru has the ball in hand, looks to throw it wide but he dummies and steps his way to the try-line.

Harry Plummer has no trouble with his conversion attempt.

26 mins: Canterbury 8 Auckland 15

THREE! Brent Cameron closes the gap for Canterbury with a successful penalty kick from just over 20m out from in front of the goal posts. 

17 mins: Canterbury 5 Auckland 15

THREE! Canterbury are penalised for an infringement at the breakdown and Harry Plummer lands his penalty kick attempt from close range.

13 mins: Canterbury 5 Auckland 12

TRY! The Canterbury side find space down the left hand side and it is Greg Pleasants-Tate who powers his way over to score the first five-pointer for the home team.

The conversion attempt is no good by Brent Cameron.

10 mins: Canterbury 0 Auckland 12

TRY! TJ Faiane is over for second try of the match. He runs a brilliant line and dives over to score close to the goal posts.

Harry Plummer lands his coversion from easy kicking range.

5 mins: Canterbury 0 Auckland 5

MISS! Brent Cameron misses a penalty kick attempt from 40m out, his attempt drifts right of the uprights.

2 mins: Canterbury 0 Auckland 5

TRY! Dalton Papali'i makes a superb break up field and is tackled 10m out from the try-line. He manages to find his No.10 lurking in support and he passes it to Harry Plummer. Plummer is almost taken to touch but he offloads the ball for TJ Faiane to score the first try of the match down the right edge.

Plummer misses his conversion attempt from the side-line.

KICK-OFF! Canterbury 0 Auckland 0

And we are underway! With Auckland kick off to Canterbury.


Canterbury: 1.Alex Hodgman, 2.Greg Pleasants-Tate, 3.Sef Fa'agase, 4.Luke Romano, 5.Hamish Dalzell, 6.Reed Prinsep, 7.Tom Christie, 8.Whetukamokamo Douglas, 9.Mitch Drummond, 10.Brent Cameron, 11.Caleb Makene, 12.Phil Burleigh, 13.Braydon Ennor, 14.Josh McKay, 15.George Bridge.

Reserves: 16.Brodie McAlister, 17.Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18.Chris King, 19.Mitchell Dunshea, 20.Tom Sanders, 21.Connor Collins, 22.Sam Beard, 23.Ngane Punival.

Auckland: 1.Sam Prattley, 2.Robbie Abel, 3.Marcel Renata, 4.Fa'atiga Lemalu, 5.Jack Whetton, 6.Evan Olmstead, 7.Blake Gibson (captain), 8.Akira Ioane, 9.Jonathan Ruru, 10.Harry Plummer, 11.Joe Ravouvou, 12.TJ Faiane, 13.Tumua Manu, 14.Melani Nanai, 15.Jordan Trainor.

Reserves: 16.Mike Sosene-Feagai, 17.Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18.Marco Fepulea'i, 19.Hoskins Sotutu, 20.Dalton Papali'i, 21.Leon Fukofuka, 22.Jacob Umaga, 23.Tanielu Tele'a.


'They've got sore hearts' – All Blacks in pain after South Africa loss, says Steve Hansen

The All Blacks are beaten, but not broken by last night's 36-34 loss to South Africa in Wellington, with coach Steve Hansen urging his troops to learn from the defeat.

Despite coming off back-to-back losses to both Argentina and Australia, South Africa stunned the All Blacks at Westpac Stadium, claiming their first win on Kiwi soil since 2009.

Addressing media this morning though, Hansen gave an update on the mentality within the All Blacks' camp.

"They've got sore hearts," he said.

"They're still hurting. Hopefully they hurt for a while, (it) puts them in a good place."

"There are some good lessons to be learnt, we've got to make sure we learn them."

New Zealand were stunned 36-34 in Wellington last night. Source: 1 NEWS



Most read: 'We could have won it twice' – Steve Hansen laments All Blacks' sloppy Wellington display

This story was first published on Sunday September 16.

The All Blacks failed to overcome South Africa, losing 36-34. Source: 1 NEWS

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was left to rue a series of mistakes in his side's loss to South Africa in Wellington last night, as his side slumped to a 36-34 defeat.

With time all but up, the All Blacks attempted to run the ball in to score, rather than attempt a drop goal to seal an improbable come from behind win over the Springboks.

Speaking to media this morning though, Hansen said that his side were the architects of their own demise.

"We helped their cause quite a bit didn't we?" he said.

"To be fair to them though, they took every opportunity that came - they didn't miss any.

"With 10 minutes to go, we could have won it twice - we had plenty of opportunity, we just didn't close it out.

"There's the biggest learning."



'Beauden has these nights' – All Blacks firm behind Barrett's boot ahead of World Cup

The All Blacks are firmly behind the kicking ability of Beauden Barrett, despite the missed opportunities squandered in last night's 36-34 loss to South Africa in Wellington.

Barrett, 27, missed four of his six attempts at goal, ultimately proving crucial as the All Blacks slipped to a first loss at home to the Springboks since 2009.

Addressing media today though, coach Steve Hansen says that the All Blacks are firmly behind Barrett as their first choice kicker going into next year's World Cup in Japan.

"Beauden has these nights," Hansen began.

"He's had them before, but then he comes out and kicks 100 per cent the next time.

"That's the nature of goal kicking - sometimes it hurts you.

"You've just got to hope that all the stars don't line up in the one night - last night they did."

The first-five missed four kicks in New Zealand's shock loss to South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS


'I understand fans get disappointed' - Michael Cheika defends Wallabies' latest loss

Talk is cheap and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika knows the only way to placate an increasingly agitated Australian rugby fanbase, after letting them down once again, is through actions on the field.

The Wallabies have arrived at yet another crossroads after last night's limp 23-19 defeat to Argentina - the first time Los Pumas have prevailed on Australian soil in 35 years.

Once the disbelief subsided, the level of disgust among supporters was palpable at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

The scene itself was scarcely believable.

One man was so angry his verbal tirade at players led to a physical altercation with Lukhan Tui and several other Wallabies.

While there is no excusing the man's actions - particularly if he pushed Tui's younger sister as alleged - the reality is events would not have unfolded the way they did had the team held up their end of the bargain.

Cheika said he fully recognised the frustration of supporters.

"I understand how fans get disappointed. I'm disappointed as well," he told reporters today.

"I saw he was there in his Wallaby jersey as well, it's not like he doesn't want us to win.

"He wants us to win badly. Sometimes that goes pear-shaped.

"There's a lot of supporters out there, no matter what they're always behind you. You've got to always be mindful of those people.

"It's the national team and that's what people do, a lot of supporters last night (felt) the same.

"You can't be talking about keeping the faith, you've got to show it."

Players and coaches will lick their wounds for the next week before assembling again for a two-week tour that could define Cheika's tenure as Wallabies coach.

First is a trip to Port Elizabeth in South Africa to face a Springboks outfit coming off a stunning 36-34 win over the All Blacks in Wellington.

After that is a rematch with Argentina in Salta, in high-altitude conditions which the Wallabies have traditionally struggled with.

Cheika was frank about his team's lack of "enthusiasm" and said he would dissect the vision of their latest catastrophe before deciding if he will swing the selection axe in response.

"(It was) obviously tough last night. (We) should feel bad. It's the game, you've got to pick yourself up and onto the next one," he said.

"Now we get a run of games away from home and we're going to have to get more consistent ... (bring) better quality play and be more consistent with it and be accountable for that."