Canterbury too strong for the Counties Power Heat in FPC season opener

The Counties Power Heat have been soundly beaten 59-12 in their opening match of the Farah Palmer Cup season against an impressive Canterbury outfit in Christchurch.

The home side raced out of the blocks, playing an up-tempo game that the visitors simply couldn’t keep up with.

Canterbury took a 26-7 lead into halftime and then powered away in the second spell to keep the JJ Stewart Trophy in Christchurch.

Emily Kitson and Amiria Te Iringa scored tries for the Heat.

“It was a good reference point for us against a well-organised Canterbury side,” coach JP Faamausili said.

“It highlighted some key areas of our game that we need to improve leading into the Bay of Plenty game this weekend and moving forward throughout the competition.

“If we hold onto the ball for multiple phases we can cause teams problems but we lacked some urgency and intent in our carry and clean as well as winning races to the breakdown, which meant we weren’t able to build momentum and we found ourselves defending for long periods.

“That hurt us in the back end of both halves.

“The game showed we can drift in and out of games – we need to be in the fight on both sides of the ball for 80 minutes, so we will regroup as a team, work hard at training this week and put out an improved performance on Saturday in front of our friends and families against a good Bay of Plenty team, that will also be hurting after the weekend.”

The Counties Power Heat return home for their home opener next Saturday against Bay of Plenty at Navigation Homes Stadium – the first of back-to-back games with the Cook Islands v Tonga World Cup qualifying match following.