They didn't end up winning easily. It was a struggle. The Cantabs weren't fully focused on the job, took dumb options at times, and basically let Northland disrupt the way Canty WANT to play.
There's no point being too negative about the win though for the reasons mentioned above. They won & kept the shield for the summer and really thats all that matters. Two trophies down, One to go!
Two eagerly awaited clashes in this game where the Todd Blackadder/Glenn Taylor and Scott Robertson/Justin Collins tussles. Toddy skipped this game with a neck injury (back for the semi's though) and hence Taylor ended up having a stormer! He wouldn't be a bad touring party option really would he? The Robertson-Collins clash ended up a bit of a disappointment. Neither player really shone, with Scotty having a quiet night and Collins not doing anything seemingly remarkable that would make you go "WOW, he should be an All Black!". I think Collins might make the AB touring party though, but he did nothing outstanding in this game. And really that sums up the whole game!
At times the underrated Northland scrum had Canterbury in trouble. Makes me think what sort of influence Toddy has in the engine room at scrum time!!?? Canterbury didn't seem as strong! Of course the Auckland Blues selectors should have been taking a close look at the Northland front rows performance...but I doubt it! : - )
Someone who is now a firm crowd favourite and whom will probably be keeping a current AB on the Canterbury bench is Ben Blair. His pace, acceleration especially, and stepping is astonishing. The fact he has a Mehrtens like ability with the boot just makes him an even more special player.
I honestly can't think of anything more to say about this game!
As a Cantab I'm just glad its over!
ROLL ON THE NPC SEMI'S!!!