South Canterbury denied Buller back to back wins in the Lochore Cup Final of the Pink Batts Heartland Championship with a 17 - 10 win at Timaru’s Alpine Energy Stadium today.
It is South Canterbury’s first competition title since 2001. In closing the curtain on New Zealand’s 2013 domestic rugby season, South Canterbury join Mid Canterbury (Meads Cup), Auckland (Women’s Provincial Championship), Tasman (ITM Cup Championship) and Canterbury (ITM Cup Premiership) on the official winners’ ledger.
Strong winds again played a big part in today's match, but in the end, the combination of South Canterbury’s superior forward pack and the boot of fullback Liam Edwards proved too much for the visitors.
New Zealand Rugby Chairman Mike Eagle congratulated both teams on making the Final - a remarkable second consecutive Lochore Cup Final for Buller, and a third year running Finals berth for South Canterbury.
"I commend both teams on a hard-fought match - a very physical display of rugby. Congratulations to South Canterbury for coming away with the result in front of a home crowd today. Both teams can be proud of what they did out there today."
In yesterday’s top tier Pink Batts Heartland Championship Final, Mid Canterbury held the Meads Cup aloft for the first time, and claimed their first championship title since 1998.
In the ITM Cup Premiership Final, Canterbury beat Wellington at Westpac Stadium to claim their sixth straight national provincial championship honours. Tasman have won promotion into next year’s ITM Cup Premiership after beating Hawke’s Bay in the ITM Cup Championship Final in Nelson on Friday. In the Women’s Provincial Championship Final yesterday, Auckland squeezed out a 20-10 win to deny Canterbury their first title.
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