A superb display from South Canterbury enabled the green and blacks to go back to back in the Meads Cup final at Pleasant Point Domain on Saturday.

The forward pack dominated Whanganui at the crucial times to win 47-36 and stretch the side’s record-breaking Heartland Championship run to 22 games.

There were plenty of contenders for the man of the match, from No 1 to No 23 for South Canterbury as it piled on 30 unanswered points in the second half.

It was also the perfect way to farewell co-captain Nick Strachan, after 108 games for the province.

Things looked ominous at the start when the Butcher Boys scored an excellent try to wing Alekesio Vakarororgo with just a minute showing on the clock.

South Canterbury, however, came back strongly in the first quarter, lock Anthony Amato driving over from close range and fullback Liueli Simote stepping the defence nicely to lead 17-10.

Whanganui then fought back with tries to left wing Tyler Rogers-Holden, who fended off a couple of defenders to score, and then big second five Timoci Serawalu scored out wide to give Whanganui a 22-17 lead at halftime.

The second half started with an arm wrestle, but Whanganui found itself without captain and first five Dane Whale when the referee handed out a yellow card for consecutive team offsides.

South Canterbury regained the lead when left wing Kalavini Leatigaga intercepted a pass and sprinted 70m to score under the crossbar when Whale was in the bin.

Two penalties to first five Sam Briggs also kept the scoreboard turning over, rewarding the team’s effort.

Tries to replacement loose forward Salesi Savelio and cocaptain Cam Russell resulted in the score racing out to 47-22 with eight minutes left to play and the Meads Cup was staying in South Canterbury.

Savielo stole a ball that popped out of a ruck and went in untouched while centre Zac Saunders’ turnover at a maul allowed Russell to do a similar thing. Both players had time to celebrate on the way to the line.

Whanganui showed heart by throwing everything at South Canterbury in the final few minutes and was awarded a penalty try and last-gasp try to Vakarororgo.

The Butcher Boys will rue the ill-discipline that conceded 14 penalties to South Canterbury’s seven, allowing Briggs to land four penalties along with five conversions for a personal haul of 22 points.

The Nigel Walsh-coached South Canterbury was the better side, however, and deserved the silverware, after controlling the game when it mattered most.

For South Canterbury, Amato carried the ball well, Strachan won crucial lineouts and turnovers, and No 8 Siu Kakala proved hard to stop, in a superb pack performance.

Willie Wright did everything right at halfback while Briggs ensured his outside backs had every opportunity.

Simote proved again he is a class act at fullback.

Whanganui’s best were lock Ben Whale and No 8 Semi Vodosese, along with veteran halfback Lindsay Horrocks.

The win means South Canterbury will get another challenge for the Ranfurly Shield next year, against Wellington at the Cake Tin, having played Hawkes Bay in the first game of the season.

South Canterbury is also likely to have a large contingent in the New Zealand Heartland team to play New Zealand Police.

South Canterbury 47 (Anthony Amato, Liueli Simote, Kalavini Leatigaga, Salesi Savelio, Cam Russell tries; Sam Briggs 5 con, 4 pen); Whanganui 36 (Alekesio Vakarororgo 2, Tyler Rogers-Holden, Timoci Serawalu tries; penalty try; Ethan Robinson 4 con, pen). Halftime: 17-22