Thursday, October 4, 2012
The magic of the Log of Wood
Many years ago, the prophets of doom predicted the demise of the Ranfurly Shield. Thankfully, those prophesies have not come to pass, and the Log of Wood is still a prized possession for its holder, and a highlight of the season for potential challengers.
Waikato illustrated that perfectly last night. Sitting on the bottom of the Premiership division of the ITM Cup, the Mooloos have had a mediocre season so far. But they had a shield challenge to build up to, and boy, did they build up well!
Waikato came to Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth last night written off by the pundits. Taranaki was already talking about locking away the shield for the summer; big mistake! Waikato hit them last night with a fury and passion that the amber-and-blacks had no answer for, and ran out easy winners by 46-10.
This was the perfect Ranfurly Shield challenge. Waikato came in as underdogs, but with a clear goal, and incredible self-belief. They hit Taranaki early, and the shield holders never recovered.
To the victor the spoils. Victorious Waikato captain Alex Bradley joyfully held the Log of Wood aloft; deservedly so after an inspirational captain's game. The Waikato players rejoiced; the Taranaki players looked a little numb. That's what winning and losing the Ranfurly Shield does.
Well done Waikato; that was one heck of a match. And rumours of the Ranfurly Shield's demise were premature.