Ranfurly Shield – New Zealand’s Log o’ Wood
The Ranfurly Shield has come back to Taranaki again
Ranfurly Shield triumph over Canterbury in Christchurch on Friday 6 October 2017.
Not only did they come-from-behind at halftime, the win kick-starts their sixth Shield tenure, and first since 2012.
Taranaki Bulls arrived in New Plymouth this morning 7 October 2017 with the Ranfurly Shield, so happy.
This post is written with the spirit of sports in mind.
The Ranfurly Shield is regarded as the greatest prize in New Zealand provincial rugby, and yes I have that fever is in my blood as a rugby player supporter all my life
Ranfurly Shield was first played for in 1904.
Taranaki never had the shield for many years until, taking the shield off of Otago in September 1957 – 11-9 victory, that year I remember very clearly as a seventeen-year-old lass.
Rugby fever sure hit Taranaki that year.
I still remember that shield traveling from town to town in the Taranaki province, and the thrill I had as I touch that shield which spent some time in Newton Kings building in Eltham 1957, (my home town).
Roger Urbahn and Bill Cameron two Eltham lads were in the team that played for the shield in Taranaki.
Some of the players I remembered playing in 1957-58 were Peter Burke, Graham Mourie, Dave Loveridge and Ralph Carroll.
Taranaki held the shield for 13 successful defenses, we were proud of that shield, then Taranaki lost the shield to Southland in September 1959, after 2 years of Ranfurly shield fever in Taranaki.
The shield left us for about 5 years of not winning any challenges, then again in September 1963, Taranaki held it for another 15 successful defenses.
Taranaki has not had many successful challenges for that Log Of wood until August 2011, so now the Shield fever is back in Taranaki again.
The Shield holder at the end of each season is required to accept at least seven challenges for the following year
This is a special occasion that Taranaki brought the shield back to Taranaki this weekend as Peter Burke, who both played for and coached the All Blacks, died peacefully on Monday 2 October 2017 at his home in New Plymouth in the care of his three daughters. He played many games for Taranaki in the 1950s
In the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Burke was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby.
The Taranaki rugby stalwart was 90.