Red and blacks lift Farah Palmer Cup again

Cindy Nelles scores the winning try for Canterbury in the Farah Palmer Cup final Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020/RNZ

Canterbury has won a fourth straight women’s national provincial rugby title in dramatic fashion.

The red and blacks have scored a try after the final hooter to beat Waikato 8-7 in the Farah Palmer Cup final played on a hot spring day in Christchurch.

Seeking their maiden title, Waikato had defended bravely throughout the match, preventing Canterbury from crossing their line for 80 minutes.

But after handing over possession just seconds from fulltime, Waikato were unable to prevent Canterbury lock Cindy Nelles from crashing over in the 81st minute.

Canterbury halfback Kendra Cocksedge struck the upright with the resulting conversion but it was academic as she started the celebrations.

The three-time defending champions had led 3-0 at halftime courtesy of a Cocksedge penalty in the 31st minute.

Canterbury bombed a number of tries in the first half, with winger Sam Curtis and centre Grace Brooker both losing the ball over the line.

Waikato captain Chelsea Alley had the chance to level the scores on the stroke of halftime but her penalty attempt hit the upright.

Canterbury clung on to its 3-0 lead until the 65th minute when Waikato number eight Kennedy Simon forced her way over the line, with help from fellow loose forward Emma-Lee Heta. Alley converted to give Waikato a 7-3 advantage.

Cruely for the visitors they couldn’t hold on as Canterbury capped a second straight unbeaten season with a fourth straight title.

A host of players from both teams will now play in a Possibles vs Probables match at North Harbour Stadium next weekend.

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