Hello and welcome to McLean Park in Napier for Ranfurly Shield action between Hawke's Bay and Counties-Manukau.
Hawke's Bay won the Shield off Otago in spectacular fashion last week, as Otago blew a couple of late chances to hold onto it.
Counties will go into this one with plenty of confidence after a spirited showing in their defeat to Auckland.
We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the rugby action. VIDEO will be available as soon as the final whistle goes.
LIVE COMMENTARY... Hawke's Bay 24-27 Counties-Manukau
Wrap All video now up, and Counties have won the Shield for the first time in their history, while the shortest tenure in Shield history is now Hawke's Bay's 2013 run. Thanks all for joining me tonight, and don't forget to join me for the All Blacks Test from 7pm!
Full time ALL OVER!! COUNTIES HAVE THE RANFURLY SHIELD!!!
79 mins The Bay have it folks.. They're about 25 out.. Counties are desperate! PENALTY!! OH MY! COUNTIES HAVE A PENALTY!! 90 seconds to go...
76 mins Here come COUNTIES OH THEY HAVE SCORED!!! BRILLIANT!! COUNTIES IN FRONT!! I can't believe this!! Get up! Big kick, nail this and the Bay need a try.. and the kiiiiiiiick iiiiiiiiis wide!
74 mins Here come Counties! 40 out now... but they've got victory in their sights... 30 out now. Taufalele sprints down the touchline, offloads but ohhhh no! Into touch.
72 mins No cigar with the kick, but she's pretty close!
71 mins STOWERS UP THE MIDDLE!!! Will they go all the way? NO! Taken a metre out! They still have it! Counties spread it wide, and in the CORNER SEAN REIDY SCORRRREES!! Have I spoken too soon? 24-22!
69 mins Boom! 24-17, is that it? Hawke's Bay just look more clinical and a better drilled team. Still in it though Counties.
67 mins Hawke's Bay have a scrum feed, and they clear from it, Counties kick back to the Bay.. West chips in behind and ooooooooooohhhh perfect kick! Out centimetres from the line. But it's back for an offside, and West will kick for goal.
65 mins West has a chance to make it a seven point buffer, but his kick goes just wide. Ill-discipline costing Counties here, and some poor decision making as well.
63 mins Close! Counties find a gap, but it's an illegal gap. Obstruction there. And Hawke's Bay get a penalty, they clear down town and get a lineout 40 out from the Counties line.
61 mins Might regret turning down a pretty much guaranteed three there. Because the ball has been cleared away. Counties have a lineout 30 from the Bay line now.
Warriors update 6-4 at halftime, the Warriors trail.
59 mins Counties steal the ball at the lineout and win a penalty as well! Now, this is a big call, they've gone for a scrum! Easy three points on offer but no, scrum it is. Massive call!
57 mins Counties have it here 10 short of halfway, Kerr bombs and Counties get it back! Pulu dabs a kick in behind, decent one and Hawke's Bay have a lineout in their own 22.
53 mins BOOM! See you later! Big Mark Atkins charges through Counties, and the giant number 8 scores for Hawke's Bay!Too easy! 21-17.
Warriors update Bad news... St. George have scored and they lead 6-4 after 32 mins.
51 mins Still with Hawke's Bay, uh oh no hang on! Counties have it now, and Counties have a scrum too. About 10 shy of halfway.
49 mins Counties get the ball, and they clear up field. It's back with the Bay thoughand Buckman makes a few metres. 40 out now from the Counties line. The ball gets stuck, and it's a Hawke's Bay scrum 40 out from Counties' line.
47 mins Guildford stabs a grubber in behind for himself, Stowers swoops in to collect though, all he can do is run it into touch! Attacking lineout for Hawke's Bay, they're 10 out.
44 mins Counties win a penalty in the Bay 22. And you guessed it, Kerr doesn't miss, 17-16. Ding-dong, see-saw, to-and-fro battle here.
Warriors update 4-0! Elijah Taylor scores for the Warriors.
42 mins Counties go on the attack early on in the second half.. and Kerr stabs a grubber kick in behind, but Hawke's Bay clear it back down town and into touch.
Warriors update 0-0 15 gone!
Halftime Penalty! Hawke's Bay not releasing, and with 20 seconds remaining Counties will probably kick this out and take halftime. They do kick it out, but there's still time for one last play. Counties have it 30 from Hawke's Bay's line now. Penalty the other way! Hawke's Bay get it, and they will end this half I think.. they do just that! And that is halftime!
39 mins Counties win the ball back, and they clear from their own 22. Guildford returns though, and it's with the Bay 10 inside halfway. Last chance before the break and they're 30 out! Good go forward ball.
38 mins Kaka clears, Stowers returns and Counties have it 30 from the Bay line. It's a turnover though and Hawke's Bay win a penalty! Counties offside at the ruck.
36 mins Hawke's Bay win another penalty!! It's just a penalty-fest! Anyway, West will have a crack at goal from about 38 m out just to the left of the posts. It's turned a little bit scrappy this one. West nails it! 16-14.
33 mins Another penalty! This time against Hawke's Bay, and Kerr has a chance to regain the lead! Tough kick though, not tough enough!! 14-13. Superb kick.
31 mins It's going to be another chance for West to add three more, and take the lead. Counties penalised again. And West adds the extras, the Bay are in front!
29 mins West nails it from in front! Hawke's Bay starting to spring into life now, and Guildford charges ahead, he chips ahead, it's taken by Stowers who is then hit hard in the tackle and driven into touch. Bay lineout on the Counties 22 now.
26 mins Hawke's Bay have a lineout on the 22 now. A lot of penalties today, a bit frustrating. They go short, and bring it in 22 out.. Mathewson spots a huge gap! Goes through, and is clobbered!! High tackle but man I could've driven freight train through that gap!
22 mins Counties win a penalty here, yet another one. Gee whiz there's been a few, and gee whiz I sound like Nisbo. Baden Kerr nails it, and the lead is 11-7.
20 mins Hawke's Bay have a scrum feed on their own 22 here. They win it back, and oh, they win a penalty too! Decent chance to get some field position here. They get a lineout on halfway.
18 mins 8-7!! Close match this, loving the atmosphere.
18 mins TRRRYY!! 8-5 kick to come.
17 mins Oh my!! Oh my! CRACKING TRY!! Veainu broke down the right, gave it to Mathewson and he scooted away, found Kaka and Gillies Kaka scored!! We're going to check though, there may have been a foot in touch. Stand by folks...
15 mins The kick is unsuccessful, but 8-0 it is. Great start! Counties have it now just inside halfway, they look really up for this!
12 mins Hawke's Bay chip in behind, Stowers returns OH MY WORD DOES HE WHAT!! STOWERS DOWN THE TOUCH LINE!! STOWERS WHAT A TRY!!!! He returned the kick and ran straight through the Bay defence, down the touchline and over for five points! Brilliant.
10 mins Hawke's Bay win a penalty and it's a good kick for touch, lineout 10 out for the Bay. Good maul now! Metres out!! Can they go the whole way? Turnover! Penalty! Hawke's Bay pinged a metre out from the line.
8 mins Boom! Nails it! 3-0! Great kick from Kerr.
6 mins Counties lineout on halfway, the Bay nick it though and they come forward through O'Connor. Penalty though! RIght on halfway, will they have a crack at goal, it's a tough one for Counties. Think they'll kick for touch, no! Kerr will have a crack at goal!
4 mins Good break from Aki and Counties have some early possession and field position, a forward pass ruins it though, but good intent from Counties. Some exciting backs in their side.
2 mins A bit of early forceback from both sides - boring stuff. But Hawke's Bay have it on the Counties 22 now, intercept! And Counties get the ball, they clear down town, and Hawke's Bay return it.
4:34pm Both teams out and we are set for kickoff!
4:31pm Auckland have thrashed the 'Naki 51-15 today! Massive. A near sold out McLean Park today, gotta love the Shield.
4:29pm Quite a big game for the Bay today, if they lose it'll be the shortest tenure ever! Six days. Fancy Counties to put up a fight but think the Bay are too good.
4:15pm Hello and welcome into McLean Park in Napier for this Ranfurly Shield clash. Not in a great mood over here, as Wellington College have just been knocked out of the National Top 4 rugby comp by Hamilton Boys. Devastated. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to this one, it'll be a great game in Napier.
We will start commentary from 4:15pm, kickoff is at 4:35pm bringing you the weather and ground conditions. In the meantime check out the video.
Pre match banter:
By Ross Karl
The last time the Ranfurly Shield was in the Hawke's Bay the Beatles released their last album and man walked on the moon.
So, after 44 years of waiting it's no wonder the Magpies returned from their 20-19 victory over Otago to a big celebration in Napier.
Stepping off the plane with the Shield, Hawke's Bay captain Mike Coman didn't expect such a large reception.
"Just to see this, it's awesome and it hits home just how much this means to the people of Hawke's Bay," says Coman.
But having grown up listening to stories of past glories he feels privileged to be the first Magpie to lift the shield since 1969.
"They obviously had a great era - Ian Macrae, Kel Tremain, those guys - it's great to get our hands on it. I saw a few boys just looking at it last night," he says.
Hepa Paewai - the halfback in the 1966-69 era - was just as glad to see it back.
"I just said they have to beat 21," says Paewai. "It's very, very important - especially when I was the one that lost it, well I played in the team that lost it, so it was bloody great."
Of course the mood in Otago last night, having lost the shield in their first defence in 56 years, was glum.
"Like I said it's been a great nine days and the boys wanted to go another seven or another two weeks with and it's always pretty gutting to lose something like that," says Otago coach Tony Brown.
While Otago is hurting, 21-year-old Hawke's Bay first-five Ihaia West's the toast of Hawke's Bay after his match-winning try.
Equally as heroic was number eight Mark Atkins, who charged down Otago's last minute drop goal.
"I wasn't sure if I was offside or we had knocked it on. I was just waiting for that final whistle and once that went it was magic," says Atkins.
For that magic to continue the celebrations must end with tomorrow's second parade in Hastings, because if they lose to Counties on Saturday six days will become the shortest shield tenure ever.
source: newshub archive