If this seems familiar, it probably is
Three years ago few gave Taranaki a chance in a Ranfurly Shield challenge in Christchurch. Tonight was much the same
Three years ago Canterbury were stacked full of Super Rugby players. Tonight they had their All Blacks to boot
Sure, so did Taranaki with the Barrett brothers and Tupou Va’ai. Yet only one of the Canterbury starting XV doesn’t (yet) have Super Rugby on their resume.
Three years ago Lachlan Boshier was the two-try hero. Tonight it was young winger Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.
Three years ago it was Marty McKenzie kicking goals from everywhere. Tonight it was another long-range bomb from Jordie’s right boot
Three years ago Boshier was everywhere. Tonight it wasn’t any different; and is there anyone, anywhere, better at stealing the ball at the breakdown than he is?
Three years ago it was the comeback that no one saw coming. Tonight it was holding off the one everyone knew was coming.
And winding the clock back further, that celebrated 1996 triumph over Auckland had a couple of blokes named Barrett and Slater playing pivotal roles. Tonight their sons got to experience that same feeling. Beauden’s won a World Cup, a Super Rugby title, and been crowned World Player of the Year, and the look on his face at and after full-time showed what being part of a successful Shield challenge meant to him.
Three years ago I was a very happy Taranaki man. Tonight I am once again.
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