Our very own Counties Manukau Steelers Rugby team have done it!
It is now our team’s turn to celebrate lifting the Ranfurly Shield for the first time in the union’s 58-year history, after winning 27 to 24 against Hawkes Bay.
So far, we have had 15 days of Shield rugby with Waikato, Otago, Hawke’s Bay and now Counties-Manukau holding the log o’ wood. “It’s as good as Lord Ranfurly could have hoped for when he commissioned the carved trophy which had its first challenge in 1904” reports todays New Zealand Herald online.
201-game veteran and Waiuku local, Alan Dawson had headed to the Kentish Hotel to hear the outcome of the game and is quoted as saying to the Herald “”I played in about eight challenges – I lost count after a while – including two special draws, but this is just unbelievable. I’m 58 and was in the bar with my two brothers but felt like I was playing those last few minutes. People were jumping all over me in the bar.”
Tana Umaga must be so proud and pleased with his team coming through the battle and is reported as saying “Counties Manukau will bring far more home to Pukekohe today than just the Ranfurly Shield.” and also has said “”In terms of rugby this is one of the biggest things I’ve done and I didn’t even do much”. Way to go Tana and the “boys”.!!
Such an awesomely exciting outcome for our team now deserves a celebration, so maybe the locals will be able to put on our own parade to mark this fantastic achievement!