Hop­ing for hero­ics

The Invercargill Eye - - PRECIOUS PETS - STAFF RE­PORTER

The South­land Stags will be hop­ing for a re­peat of their 2011 hero­ics when they tackle Can­ter­bury in a David and Go­liath bat­tle for rugby’s Ran­furly Shield in Christchurch to­mor­row evening.

After three rounds of the na­tional pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship, the Stags have lost all three games and sit at the bot­tom of the sec­ond-tier cham­pi­onship ta­ble. Can­ter­bury have won all three of their games, each with bonus points, and lead the top­tier premier­ship.

The last time South­land won the Ran­furly Shield was in July 2011, when they de­feated the red and blacks 22-19 in Christchurch.

South­land Stags cap­tain Bray­den Mitchell has no il­lu­sions about the chal­lenge fac­ing his team to­mor­row.

‘‘I guess we go up there with noth­ing to lose and hope­fully win and get our sea­son back on track,’’ he said after last week’s loss to North­land. ‘‘It (the Ran­furly Shield chal­lenge) is go­ing to be a tough ask.’’

Can­ter­bury, which has scored 122 points and con­ceded just 34 in its three games this sea­son, warmed up for to­mor­row’s shield chal­lenge with a 53-10 romp over Hawke’s Bay.

South­land, which has scored just 49 points and con­ceded 113, suf­fered a humiliating 13-44 de­feat to North­land at home in In­ver­cargill.

Kick-off in to­mor­row’s Ran­furly Shield chal­lenge at AMI Sta­dium in Christchurch is 5.45pm.

ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

South­land play­ers cel­e­brate after beat­ing Can­ter­bury 22-19 in 2011 to lift the Ran­furly Shield.

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