Superheroes win shield
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.