Canterbury continue their rampant start

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James Mortimer     29 Aug 2014     Getty Images

Northland were far better than the final numbers suggest, but Canterbury have been in stunning touch so far.

Canterbury, who defeated Auckland (48-9) and Waikato (58-27) continued their rampant run and it would be a brave punter to bet against the title holder’s quest in seeking seven straight crowns.

The triumph ensured that the red and blacks have scored three bonus point wins, and will finish the third week on top of the Premiership ladder.

The Taniwha, who were impressive against Wellington last week, were given few opportunities against the champions, who initially found the visitors a tough nut to crack.

Northland scored 35 points against the Lions last round, but didn't look like crossing a very polished Canterbury line.

Dan Hawkins scored the first points of the game to give Northland a 3-0 lead after thirteen minutes.

Halfback Mitchell Drummond and Nasi Manu scored tries to give Canterbury the first half lead, thanks to two conversions and two penalties from Slade.

As the second half started, the hosts had a 20-3 advantage, and then we saw the red and blacks put the game away with three tries in the first 15 minutes of the final stanza.

With 55 minutes up on the clock Canterbury had a 41-3 lead, and Patrick Osborne added a 69th minute score to give the “impressive machine” Christchurch the 2014 season lead and 48-3 triumph.

Canterbury play Otago in Dunedin next round, while Northland host Hawke's Bay.

Canterbury 48

Tries: Manu (2), Drummond, Sanders, Goodhue, Osborne
Cons: Slade (6)
Pens: Slade (2)

Northland 3

Pens: Hawkins