14 Oct 2012

The Shield stays in Hamilton for the summer

7:22 am on 14 October 2012

The Waikato rugby team has retained the Ranfurly Shield with a 28-3 thrashing of visitors Hawke's Bay.

Waikato's victory not only means the Shield stays in Hamilton for the summer, while it also relegates Hawke's Bay from the top-tier Premiership for next season.

Earlier Counties-Manukau eliminated Northland from the Championship semi-finals race, with a 44-31 away win in Whangarei, ensuring the Steelers qualify top and allowing Southland to claim the last playoff place.