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Telusa Veainu's slice of Ranfurly Shield historyJohn GriffithsSeptember 24, 2013
With Hawke's Bay winning the Ranfurly Shield on August 31, Telusa Veainu has now scored a try in a winning Ranfurly Shield challenge (ie not defending) for two different provinces (Canterbury in 2010 and now for Hawke's Bay). Has anyone done anything similar in Ranfurly Shield history? David Shipton New Zealand
Telusa Veainu's achievement is unique in the 109-year history of Ranfurly Shield challenges.
There have been more than eighty successful challenges in the 650-plus matches since Wellington, led by Billy Wallace, took the so-called "Log-O'-Wood" from Auckland in August 1904. The original holders had been declared champions of New Zealand and presented with the Shield after the 1902 season.
The first player to score tries in separate successful challenges was the All Black threequarter Terry O'Sullivan who did so for Taranaki (v Otago 1957 and v Wellington 1963). Five others copied O'Sullivan's feat: Bruce Reihana (for Waikato v Taranaki in 1996; v Auckland 1997); Justin Marshall (for Canterbury v Waikato 2000; v Bay of Plenty 2004); Brent Ward (for Auckland v Canterbury 2003; v Canterbury 2007); and Tim Bateman & Corey Flynn (for Canterbury v Waikato 2007; v Wellington 2009).
The two penalty tries credited to winning challengers were also awarded to Canterbury: against Waikato in 1994 and against Bay of Plenty in 2004.
But Telusa Veainu is the only player to touch down for different successful challengers. His try for Canterbury in 2010 helped wrest the Shield from Southland and his effort for Hawke's Bay on September 1st at the Forsyth Barr Stadium relieved Otago of the trophy.
His province's hold on the prize however was short-lived. Counties-Manukau defeated Hawke's Bay in a Shield challenge last weekend.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, including The Book of English International Rugby, The Book of International Rugby Records, British Lions, The Five Nations Championship, Rugby's Strangest Matches and Rugby's Greatest Characters. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has also provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.