Official match report
ROSSLYN PARK 47 CANTERBURY 14
For Canterbury the learning process goes on and against the powerful National One league leaders the curve was steep. Park’s seven tries, which brought them a comfortable victory, tell their own story and once again the city side have to look at their own shortcomings.
You could argue that the scoreline slightly flattered the hosts but their technical excellence and execution was in marked contrast to Canterbury’s efforts.
When they made mistakes Park turned them into points and despite a second half where they had plenty of territory and scoring opportunities the city team came away with very little.
It was a disappointment after they made a great start with a classy seventh minute try. Charlie Grimes came off his wing to carve a midfield break and Dan Smart went over between the posts, leaving Tom Best a simple conversion. By half time, however, Park had assumed control as they built a nineteen point lead and tucked away a four try bonus point, the accurate Harry Leonard converting three of them. Painfully, three of those scores came from Canterbury’s failings – two line out throws lost and a scrum penalty contributed to their downfall as Dan Laventure, Hugo Ellis and Craig Holland, twice, made the most of their chances. The lesson was clear; in this competitive league you cannot invite the opposition into your front room and expect them to be polite about it. The second half brought with it a familiar set of questions which were left unanswered. Canterbury are not a team that lies down and ten minutes in they rolled over from a catch and drive with prop Jamie Dever making the touchdown. Best converted and might have expected more shots at goal if only his side could have capitalised when they were in the scoring zone. They took the game to Park, sat on their goal line for decent spells but lacked the accuracy to unlock the defence. Park absorbed it all and from a handful of visits to Canterbury’s 22 metre area created two more tries for Ellis, one of them through superb handling, and a final flourish by Ben Howard. Leonard’s boot hammered the nails in deeper.
Canterbury: A.Moss (repl K Braithwaite), C.Grimes, S.Sterling, T.Best (repl T.Guest), D.Corcoran, M.Craven, D. Smart, J.Dever (repl A,Cooper), J.Otto (repl S.Roche), S.Kenny (repl C.Connolly), R.Cadman, M.Corker, W.Scholes, S.Rogers, G.Micans.