18 Sep 2016

Taranaki fans' spirits dampened by rockfall

8:23 pm on 18 September 2016

Dozens of Taranaki rugby fans travelling to Waikato for the Ranfurly Shield game had to turn back after a rock-fall blocked State Highway 3 just south of Mokau.

Persistent rain could hinder Taranaki supporters' attempts to get to the Ranfurly Shield clash in Hamilton.

Persistent rain could hinder Taranaki supporters' attempts to get to the Ranfurly Shield clash in Hamilton. Photo: Photosport NZ

Bryan Mattock was among a group of about 40 fans journeying north by bus to cheer on their team.

"We jumped on the bus at 10 o'clock this morning, we noticed there wasn't much traffic coming back towards us.

"And it wasn't until we got just out of Mokau to find out that the slip had happened - we realised we wouldn't be able to make it there on time for kick-off.

"A lot of us were quite upset that we couldn't make it to the game. It would have been awesome to get out there and show the boys our support."

Mr Mattock said the group made it made it back to their local pub, the Crowded House bar, in time for kickoff in what turned out to be 20-all draw. Waikato keep the shield.

New Zealand Transport Agency warned further rock fall was possible, and said its engineers would reassess the patch of road tomorrow.

In the meantime it would be closed until at least midday tomorrow. An alternative route was being considered.

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