NPC 2021: Marty Banks shanks game-winning penalty, as Southland fall to heartbreaking loss against Canterbury

Canterbury have cruelly denied Southland a rare victory against their northern neighbours with 19-16 a golden-point penalty in their National Provincial Championship showdown in soggy Invercargill on Saturday.

With less than two minutes remaining, the stage appeared set for first-five Marty Banks to seal Southland's first win against Canterbury since 2014, but his relatively straightforward penalty drifted wide, sending the contest to extra time.

Then just minutes into added time, a rolling maul resulted in a Canterbury penalty, allowing Fergus Burke to slot the gamewinner from in front of the posts to help his side escape with a hard-fought win and keep their opponents winless in 2021.

The hosts drew first tryscoring blood through Josh Moorby, who slid in off a short ball to give his side the lead in the 14th minute, after Fergus Burke's early penalty for Canterbury.

A pair of Burke penalties edged Canterbury in front, before Banks pulled one back to give the Stags a slim 10-9 advantage at halftime.

Ten minutes into the second stanza, Southland lost captain Tony Lamborn to the sin-bin and Canterbury immediately capitalised, as Luke Romano burrowed his way over the line from a close-range ruck for the red-and-blacks' first try.

But Banks stepped up with consecutive penalties to lock the scores at 16-16 heading into the final 10 minutes.

After winning a defensive penalty at handy range in the dying stages, Banks' shot at goal drifted wide, sending the game to golden-point time, where Burke drove a dagger into Stags hearts with a simple attempt to seal the win.

Canterbury 19 (Luke Romano try; Fergus Burke 4 penalties, conversion) Southland 16 (Josh Moorby try; Marty Banks conversion, 3 penalty). HT: 9-10