It’s Canterbury v Tasman in Mitre 10 final

Canterbury will meet Tasman in the Mitre 10 Cup final next week after both sides were comfortable winners in their respective semi-finals on Sunday.

Canterbury beat Counties Manukau 22-7 at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch while Tasman emerged victorious in a 10-try thriller against Taranaki in a 41-29 win.

Canterbury will have the chance to claim their eighth title in nine years and their 10th trophy since 2001. Their semi-final victory came after they lost 33-21 to the same opposition last week but this time they were too strong when it mattered most.

Coach Scott Robertson remains on target to win a third title as head coach, to go with the five he won as an assistant coach.

Ben Funnell and Jordie Barrett scored first-half tries for Canterbury while Barrett also added a penalty which gave them a 17-0 lead going into the break. 

Jordan Taufua scored the first points of the second half with a try for Counties in the 61st minute which Jordan Taufua converted. But Billy Harmon sealed his team's place in the final with their third try seven minutes later to open a 15-point gap which they defended in the last 10 minutes.

For Canterbury:

Tries: Funnell, Barrett, Harmon
Cons: Barret 2
Pen: Barrett 

For Counties Manukau:
Con: Laulala

Canterbury: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Tom Sanders, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 David McDuling, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Inga Finau, 23 Ben Volavola

Counties Manukau: 15 Luteru Laulala/Toni Pulu, 14 Sione Fifita, 13 Sam Vaka, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Jonathan Taumateine/Luteru Laulala, 9 Richard Judd, 8 Sootala Fa’aso’o, 7 Jordan Taufua, 6 Jimmy Tupou (c)/Matt Vaai, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Viliame Rarasea,3 Sean Paranihi, 2 Gafatasi Su’a, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Sean Bagshaw, 18 Sione Faletau/Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Matt Vaii/Viliami Taulani/Cameron Skelton, 20 Onosa’i Auva’a, 21 Jonathan Taumateine/Augustine Pulu, 22 Joe Ikenasio, 23 Toni Pulu/Nathan de Thierry

Tasman didn't have it all their own way in their semi-final against Taranaki after the latter scored a try as early as the fourth minute through Seta Tamanivalu.

Ross Geldenhuys got Tasman on the scoreboard with a try before Alex Nankivell and Mitch Hunt added two more before half-time for a 24-12 lead after Jonathan Faauli had pulled one back for Taranaki.

Marty Banks kicked 19 points with his accurate boot and scored a try for an overall contribution of 24 points which together with a try from Billy Guyton gave Tasman a commanding lead which they never surrendered.

The scorers:

For Taranaki:
Tries: Tamanivalu, Faauli, Tahuriorangi, O'Donnell, Crosswell
Cons: McKenzie 2

For Tasman:
Tries: Geldenhuys, Nankivell, Hunt, Guyton, Banks
Cons: Banks 5
Pens: Banks 2 

Taranaki: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Declan O’Donnell, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Latu Vaeno, 10 Marty McKenize, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Toa Halafihi,7 Mitchell Crosswell (c), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Leighton Price, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Ryan Cocker/Reuben O’Neill, 2 Rhys Marshall,1 Mitchell Graham
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 Ryan Cocker/Reuben O’Neill, 19 Iopu Iopu-Aso, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Cody Whittaker, 22 Sean Wainui, 23 Waisake Naholo

Tasman: 15 Mitchell Hunt, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 James Lowe, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Billy Guyton, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Shane Christie (c), 6 Tevita Koloamatangi, 5 Alex Ainley, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Jesse MacDonald, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Brendan Asomua-Goodman, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Siua Halanukonuka, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Caleb Makene