Durability boosts Canterbury

Getty Images     02 Sep 2012     Getty Images

It was Canterbury's third game in eight days and they lifted after a slow start to outscore Harbour five tries to none and scored 26 unanswered points in the second half.

"It was a good performance, overall," Whitelock, who was playing his 50th game for the province, said.

"We just had to keep working hard. We'd come off the game against Auckland three days ago and it took a wee while for us to get going. It felt as if we were treading water for the first 20 minutes.

"But, once we got our second wind, we were a lot better. We've got plenty of firepower in our backs, we want to use them and it seems to be working so far."

Canterbury now have 10 points from three games and the luxury of seven days off before they play Wellington in Christchurch next Saturday.

North Harbour captain James Parsons was disappointed but philosophical after the comprehensive defeat.

"We held them out for the first half but it took its toll later in the game," he said. "They went wide and we struggled to hold them out.

"Our set piece was good in the first half but it slipped in the second. The boys went hard and there was plenty of effort but it's back to the drawing board before we start again against Counties at home on Tuesday night."

Parsons was impressed by Canterbury, who are seeking their fifth consecutive national tile, but said they were not invincible.

"They're certainly a difficult side to play but they're not unbeatable. We just weren't clinical enough and you have to be when you play Canterbury."