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Canterbury thrash Wanganui to keep shield

Isaiah Smiler
Ranfurly Shield
The Ranfurly Shield will stay in Christchurch for the time being.  Isaiah Smiler

Canterbury kept the Ranfurly Shield after an impressive performance at AMI Stadium.

Canterbury kicked off their 2017 season with a dominant 71-5 victory over Wanganui to keep the Ranfurly Shield.

New Canterbury rugby coach Glenn Delaney named 10 uncapped players in his side, as well as giving halfback Jack Stratton a run as captain.

The Red and Blacks quickly squashed Wanganui's hopes of taking the shield away from AMI Stadium. Set-piece pressure helped Canterbury to a 10-0 lead in 10 minutes.

Stratton scored the first try after breaking Wanganui's defence.  

The floodgates then opened as Canterbury ran in four more tries. Debutant No. 10 Brett Cameron kicked well, completing a dominant first half that ended in Canterbury up 36-5.

A try to midfielder Timoci Seruwalu got the visitors on the board. 

Canterbury showed no remorse for the Meads Cup champions, scoring five tries in the second half to push the lead out to 66. 

Locks Mitchell Dunshea and Hamish Dalzell both had strong games for Canterbury, stealing many of Wanganui's line-out throws. Cameron controlled the back line and kicked well both on and off the tee. 

In a game where his team controlled almost every aspect, Delaney was happy with the performance but said there were things to work on.

"We did our homework, we prepared well and the boys were good in preparation," he said.       

Canterbury's next Ranfurly Shield defence is against Mid Canterbury on August 4 in Ashburton. 

Canterbury 71 (J.Stratton, M.Maitland, D.Nel, N.Werahiko (2), M.Suckling, M.Dunshea, P.Waqanibau, S.Alfeld, C.Makene tries: B.Cameron 7 con, pen, F.Strawbridge 2 con) Wanganui 5 (T.Seruwalu try) Halftime: 36-5