9 Sep 2013

Counties wins Shield for first time

10:57 am on 9 September 2013

The Ranfurly Shield has a third home in as many weeks after Counties Manukau won the challenge trophy from Hawke's Bay for the first time in the team's 58-year history.

Hawke's Bay failed to defend the Shield after winning it last Sunday from Otago who had only captured the trophy the week before from Waikato.

In a close game at Napier's McLean park, Counties ran in three tries to Hawke's Bay's two to claim the Shield 27-24.

Hawke's Bay was leading 16-14 at half-time, but a try in the 77th minute to Counties substitute Sikeli Nabou sealed the victory.

Counties next match is at home in Pukekohe against Taranaki next weekend, but it's not yet known if the Ranfurly Shield will be contested in that game.