7 Oct 2017

Taranaki win Shield in Canterbury thriller

6:37 am on 7 October 2017

Taranaki have stunned Canterbury 55-43 in a thrilling domestic rugby clash in Christchurch to win the Ranfurly Shield.

Taranaki celebrate with the Ranfurly Shield.

Taranaki celebrate with the Ranfurly Shield. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Down 31-7 in the first half, the visitors piled on 48 points to overrun the hosts, who had held the shield since last September.

In the final 54 minutes of the game they outscored the holders 48-12.

It's the first time Taranaki have had the Log of Wood since 2012.

Inspiring play from centre/wing Seta Tamanivalu, flanker Lachlan Boshier and No.8 Toa Halafihi, and the timely injection of Charlie Ngatai to the midfield, pulled Taranaki back from an abyss against the Premiership-leading red and blacks.

Complementing their efforts was a flawless goal-kicking display by fullback Marty McKenzie who converted all seven of the side's tries while adding a penalty goal for good measure.

The win also left the two sides on 36 points in the Premiership race but Taranaki with a game in hand have the chance to finish on top. They will defend the shield against Manawatu next weekend.

Scorers: Canterbury 43 (Rob Thompson 2, Tom Sanders, Tim Bateman, George Bridge, Brayden Ennor tries; Richie Mo'unga 5 con, pen) Taranaki 55 (Seta Tamanivalu, Stephen Perofeta, Pita Sowakula, Ricky Riccitelli, Lachlan Boshier 2, Manasa Mataele tries; Marty McKenzie 7 con, pen; Perofeta dropped goal). HT: 31-21

- RNZ

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