The Ranfurly Shield is back with Canterbury, after the red and blacks held on for a frantic 35-25 victory in their challenge against Otago in Dunedin tonight. Canterbury led 13-6 at halftime.
One day short of two years since they last held the prized silverware, Canterbury have lifted the Log o' Wood for the 16th time - which equals Auckland for the record of most wins.
Stuff.co.nz reports this was Otago's seventh defence of their sixth tenure, but they came up short in their final one of the season, despite a thrilling final-quarter fightback at Forsyth Barr Stadium, where they scored two tries to one over the final 10 minutes.
But in the end, Canterbury were far too clinical across the park, in a four-tries-to-three victory, which also secures them a semifinal spot in the Mitre 10 Cup premiership, ahead of a last-round Shield defence against North Harbour next Sunday afternoon.
Canterbury 35 (Josh McKay, Mitchell Drummond, Sam Gilbert, Tim Bateman tries; Brett Cameron 3 con, 3 pen) Otago 25 (Sio Tomkinson, Adam Thomson, Jona Nareki tries; Josh Ioane 2 con, 2 pen) HT: 13-6.