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Canterbury gets ready to party

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crfu.co.nz     24 Oct 2012     Getty Images

“Both our men’s and women’s top provincial teams have made it into the finals for their respective competitions and will play one after another at AMI Stadium (Addington) this Saturday. We want to ensure that both teams know they have support of the Canterbury province firmly behind them, so we are asking for fans to make this Friday ‘Red and Black Day’ and to cover themselves, their workplaces, schools and homes in the team’s colours,” CRFU CEO Hamish Riach said.

Mr Riach said that adding to the excitement of this Saturday’s double-header is the fact that both teams are playing Auckland. The Canterbury Women’s team will play first at 4:35pm in the 2012 Women’s Provincial Championship Final.

Canterbury Women’s Coach John Sherratt said Auckland are formidable opponents so the Canterbury team will be wanting to soak up every bit of home-side advantage they can.

“Auckland have won every championship since 1999, bar one. We have only beaten them once, in 2009, and they beat us by 10 points to 7 when we played them in the first game of this season. We are under no illusions about how tough this final is going to be, but it is amazing the effect that the roar of a home crowd can have so we would love to have as many Cantabrians as possible along to the stadium on Saturday afternoon to make themselves heard,” Sherratt said.

The men’s ITM Cup Premiership Final will be played at 7:35pm on Saturday. Canterbury earned hosting rights by beating Taranaki in a tense semi-final last weekend and topping the table. If Canterbury win it will be their fifth consecutive ITM Cup title.

Hamish Riach said it is an occasion Canterbury rugby fans will not want to miss: “To have a men’s and women’s final both played at home, and both against our traditional rivals Auckland, is a truly special occasion. We would love to see Canterbury awash with red and black on Friday to build up to the big day, and then to see the stadium resplendent in red and black fans on Saturday as our teams attempt to create history.”

Tickets are available through TIcketDirect (www.ticketdirect.co.nz or ph. 0800 224 224), at The Palms Shopping Centre or The Warehouse.