23 Jul 2011

Stags reclaim the old log

5:56 pm on 23 July 2011

Southland has beaten Canterbury 22-19 at Christchurch's Rugby Park to take the Ranfurly Shield back to Invercargill.

A drop goal from the visiting first five James Wilson sealed the win with three minutes remaining.

Canterbury led 16-9 at half-time with tries to second five Patrick Osborne and fullback Sean Maitland, but Southland fullback Robbie Robinson kicked his third penalty after the break, then the Stags went ahead through a try to halfback Scott Cowan after sustained pressure on the Canterbury line.

Wilson converted for a 19-16 lead then Canterbury first five Tom Taylor kicked a penalty with 11 minutes left to level the scores, before Wilson potted the winning drop goal on the 78th minute mark.

The Shield win will be particularly sweet for Southland rugby people as the Stags won the Shield off Canterbury in 2009 only to lose it back last year.

And it comes at a good time for Rugby Southland, following the union's annual loss of almost half a million dollars and after a cleanout at board level.