Might have to look into the heart attack statistics in Canterbury for the last few weeks, I think they will have gone through the ceiling!
Every indication is that if Canterbury are to win the Final they will have to come from behind, with 5 minutes to go, and win by 1 point!
But anyway our Referee for tonight was "not you again!" Paddy O'brien. Is this guy after the "over time" or something?
And I think that we should clarify that the mistake on the try wouldn't have been his, but the video Refs. I think that the benefit of the doubt should have swung Taranaki's way.
Paddy had quite a good game. He had lots of advice given to him, and I thought that he had to tell too many people to "go away". But I guess that you aren't going to sin bin anyone for arguing the toss, well not in a Semi-final anyway.
I thought that it was especially rich of Merhts to argue the soft high tackle decision that gave Taranaki a glimmer of hope. If he had connected any better he would have been binned!
There were a lot of ruck penalties, and a few for Taranaki being off-side. It was a good game plan of theirs to rush the Canterbury attack. But even better was their plan to dominate the forward play right from the start. They only got away with it for 15 minutes, but after that it was fairly even. Amazingly even!
Remarkable plays of the game:
Vunibaka angling back across the field - Give that man another Fijian Test Jersey! (Apart from that he has obviously found that if he catches the ball with one hand and a hip, that he can hold onto it more reliably! Oh and that first high ball catch was good.)
Merhts left footed chip kick and regather. Most of us would be glad to have Merhts right foot, but being superb off both - now that's just being greedy!
Remarkable Referee moment: If Tito didn't get a yellow card, that would have been remarkable. Lets see... you deliberately take out a man without the ball by diving over the ruck. Well deserving of a penalty at the very least.
Murray Mexted really got his nickers in a twist over that one. He reckoned that it was a legitimate move. Just because you come from behind the last feet, doesn't mean you can kill someone without the ball!
Murray stop wearing Loraine's pants, they make your voice squeak!
Unbelievable moment: Lilley hits the upright for the second time! the ball is recovered by a chaser for the second time! and he doesn't score a try... for the second time!
Just as well things come in threes.
Absolutely amazing game, for some of the best and worst reasons. Hard for both sets of fans to take!
The good points I take from it is that Canterbury can respond to the opposition's strengths, and even alter their game plan!
And thank goodness they still know how to find the winning points!
Now if we could just have that with a repeat of more of the confidence showed against Taranaki in New Plymouth, the Lions will be slain!
I only hope that I aren't asking too much!
Note to NZRFU: Get a bigger monitor for the Video Ref... that Black & White, 7 inch, isn't doing the trick!