Su­per­heroes win shield

South Taranaki Star - - STARS PAST -

OPIN­ION: Taranaki’s lat­est ten­ure of the Ran­furly shield be­gins.

By the time this is printed we would have played Ned Kelly’s Bucket Head Manawatu. Manawatu is full of wind, and hope­fully their team is too. Oth­er­wise this ar­ti­cle will ap­pear per­haps tol­er­a­ble on­line, but stupid printed. It’s a gam­ble, but I’ll take those odds and pick an 18-point win over the Tur­bos.

Back to Christchurch and that 34-12 sec­ond half blitz. There are some true del­i­ca­cies on this planet; your first Bluff oys­ter of the sea­son, the tantrum from beat­ing that sporty mate of yours at any­thing and fi­nally the fa­cial ex­pres­sions and in­ner rage of a beaten Cantab sup­porter. Rage at lev­els seen only from the odd cow cockie around spring time.

The Bulls sim­ply smashed it. We had to front up in the for­wards to have any chance. A coach once told me that ‘for­wards win or lose the match, backs de­cide by how much’. Well 6, 7, 8 had a plat­form to be awe­some, mostly due to the work of play­ers 1 through to 5.

At 31-7 down, most teams fold. But not us, not Fri­day, job done.

I must say the coach­ing team got the subs bang on and didn’t those lads rip into it. Tac­tics were ‘If noth­ing is go­ing right, just go left’. The more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers’ class came to fore­front, Ngatai, Tami­navalu, Boshier and Gra­ham es­pe­cially. Ngatai looks like an All Black mid­fielder to me. Can­ter­bury held him back and nig­gled him off the ball, but Char­lie’s too cool for that. The Sumo spe­cial, ‘Marty McKen­zie could kick a goal in jan­dals from the car park tonight’, was pure lit­er­ary ge­nius.

Great re­sponse, Taranaki, to the team ar­riv­ing home. Hats off to all, well-earned to the squad and TRFU and all in­volved.

So, pre­sum­ing we beat Manawatu, I reckon Whanganui as our neigh­bour, should get the first chal­lenge next year. Most games v Whanganui are played in Ha¯ wera. I see no rea­son why this would be dif­fer­ent. Time for a chin wag I reckon. TRFU, The Hub team, STDC, South­ern Rugby – let’s make magic, peo­ple. If there are bridge pies at the meet­ing, I’ll turn up. Sun­day we hit North Har­bour, home semi here we come ...

Mitchell Gra­ham with the Shield.

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