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At 22-0 down after just half an hour of play, Southland B looked set to feel the full wrath of Canterbury rugby’s depth.
However, the fightback started moments before halftime when wing Rory van Vugt scored.
Eight minutes into the second half the gap narrowed to 22-14 when blindside flanker Presley Tufuga crossed.
Canterbury scored in the 60th minute but captain and lock Craig Smith sparked Southland B back into action when he latched on to an intercept pass within metres of scoring.
The ball was then flung wide, where replacement midfielder Pedro Bezanilla scored.
At 29-21 with 13 minutes to play, Southland B was within striking distance of what would have been regarded as a shock victory.
However, Canterbury B scored two tries in the final 10 minutes to lock in a 41-21 victory.
Southland B was guilty of coughing up the ball too easily, whether it be missing touch from a penalty kick or a simple loose pass.
However, individually, there was enough to be encouraged by.
No8 Lio Tosi, as usual, was a presence, while centre Caleb Young carried the ball strongly, as did Tufuga.
Southland B now eyes a showdown against Otago B on Saturday in what will be the curtain-raiser to the Stags-Otago Mitre 10 Cup clash at Rugby Park in Invercargill.
- Logan Savory