CANTERBURY 5 ROSSLYN PARK 38
This was a disappointing start to the New Year for a Canterbury side hoping to build on recent improvements but, after some early promise, they failed to trouble the league leaders.
There was the whiff of a holiday hangover about a game which never scaled great heights but Rosslyn Park were far better equipped and clinical enough to run in six tries with wing Benji Marfo making an outstanding contribution.
Canterbury could not find a response until well into the second half through Tom Best’s try and by that time the gulf between the league’s top and bottom teams was clear to see.
There were plenty of errors on both sides but with the city side in a real mess at the lineouts and the penalties and turnovers stacking up against them Park did not miss out.
A catch and drive try by Arthur Ellis in the twelfth minute got them under way and they finished the first half nineteen points clear. Hooker Tom Vaughan-Edwards made the second touch down while Marfo and fellow wing man Neville Edwards combined beautifully for Marfo’s try.
Park’s off-loading skills and ability turn opportunity into points saw
centre Joe Munro strike early in the second half and Hugo Ellis made their lead unassailable in the 53rd minute as a penalty was conceded and the maul did the rest. Craig Holland added the third of his four conversions to that score. Once again Canterbury could not be faulted for effort but it was hard to spot any pattern in their play although Ricky Mackintosh, on the few occasions he saw the ball, provided the thrust that others lacked. After managing to find some better possession in the last quarter the pack drove hard around the fringes before Tom Best’s quick feet and determination saw him finally crack the Park defence. But Marfo had the last word as he made a terrific run before sending Holland over for the easiest of tries to underline the league leaders dominance
Canterbury: D.Corcoran, R. Mackintosh, S.Sterling (repl A.Moss), T.Best, J.J.Murray, C.Kingsman, K.Braithwaite (repl D.Smart), B.Young, T,.King, (repl S.Rogers), A.Wake-Smith (repl E.Lusher), R.Cadman, A.Thomson. J.Stephens (repl T.Oliver), S.Stapleton, J.Rouse