The Taranaki rugby team has defended the Ranfurly Shield, beating a determined Tasman 49-40 in a high-scoring, fast paced interdivisional game in New Plymouth.
Taranaki scored the first try within 30 seconds and the points kept coming, the All Black No.10 Beauden Barrett scoring Taranaki's fifth and final try to seal the win in the last couple of minutes. Barrett ended with 29 points.
Tasman also scored five tries.
Earlier, Championship side Northland upset Premiership contenders Waikato 29-27 at Hamilton and Canterbury posted a bonus point 36-3 thrashing of North Harbour in Christchurch.