RANFURLY SHIELD HISTORY AND STATS

In 1902 Auckland became the first holders of the Shield because in that year it had the best record of any Provincial Union (the blue and whites were unbeaten that year). In 1904 the first challenge was held and Wellington became the first side to win a Shield challenge.

Since that first match, there have been more than 600 contests at grounds all around the country, every Provincial Union has challenged for the Shield but only 17 have held it and Shield Fever continues unchecked as the Shield inspires and unifies communities like no other trophy in New Zealand sport.

The Earl of Ranfurly, who donated the Shield, was the Patron of the then-New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Governor of New Zealand. The original prize was to be a cup but on its unveiling was discovered to be a shield, with a centerpiece showing an association football match. The Shield then underwent the first of a series of upgrades throughout its history, before being presented to Auckland.

Winners’ names are traditionally engraved on small shields, along with the years in which they held the Shield. In 2012 the last of these shields was filled in when Waikato lifted the Shield, so the whole set was replaced to allow room for more winners in the future as well as recognizing those teams who have held it.

Shield Fever run rampant in 2013 as Otago lifted the coveted ‘log ‘o wood’ for the first time since 1957. Hawke’s Bay also tasted success with their first Shield success since 1969. But the holders of the Shield at the end of the year were first time holders Counties-Manakau. In 2014, Hawke’s Bay wrested the Shield back from Counties-Manukau and went on to face 11 challengers before losing the prize to Waikato in the final challenge of 2015.

Waikato saw off six tough defences, including a draw with Taranaki before losing the Shield to Canterbury in late 2016. Canterbury’s reign also lasted six defences before being stunned by Taranaki in one of the all-time great Ranfurly Shield clashes. After trailing 31-7, Taranaki stormed back to win 55-43 and lift the Shield for the first time since 2012.

There was more movement in 2018 with Taranaki and Waikato enjoying stints throughout the season before Otago finished as eventual holders.

In 2019, Otago held it for the majority of the season. Holding off challenges from Thames Valley, North Otago, Southland, Manawatu, Taranaki and Waikato, before losing it to Canterbury 35-25. Canterbury defended the Shield against North Harbour 31-25 and locked it up for the summer.

In 2020 Canterbury were defeated in their first challenge of the NPC by Taranaki losing by 23-22, then 8 Days later Otago travelled to Inglewood for Taranaki’s first defence and took the opportunity winning 30-19 to take the Shield on a quick return trip to the South Island albeit this time a bit further South to Dunedin. The Hawkes Bay came to town seven Days later to face Otago’s first defence and smash and grab it was with Hawkes Bay winning  by 28-09 ;  Hawkes Bay then had 3 Defenses against Northland (Won 33-17), Manawatu (Won 47-12) and Wellington (Won 34-18). 

In 2021 Hawkes Bay begin their defence against Heartland Champions from 2019 North Otago at McLean Park , and if they get pass this Hurdle they then play Ngati Porou East Coast who are celebrating their Centenary in 2021 in what will be their first challenge since 2013 and their first against Hawkes Bay since 1968.

Ranfurly Shield Records

Team records

  • Most consecutive matches
    61, Auckland 1985–1993
  • Fewest consecutive matches
    1 match, 9 times
  • Shortest tenure
    6 days, Hawke’s Bay 2013
  • Longest tenure
    8 years, 10 months, 23 days, Southland 1938-47

Team match records

  • Highest score
    139–5, Auckland v North Otago, 1993
  • Biggest winning margin
    134, Auckland v North Otago, 1993
  • Most tries
    23, Auckland v North Otago, 1993

Player match records

  • Most points
    40 John Kirwan, Auckland v North Otago, 1993
  • Most tries
    8, John Kirwan, Auckland v North Otago, 1993
  • Most conversions
    12, Brett Craies, Auckland v Horowhenua, 1986, Grant Fox, Auckland v Nelson Bays, 1991
    Glen Jackson, Waikato v West Coast, 2000 and Lachie Munro, Auckland v North Otago, 2008
  • Most penalties
    7, Robbie Deans, Canterbury v Counties, 1984 and Cam McIntyre, Canterbury v Wellington, 2003
  • Most dropped goals
    3, Ross Brown, Taranaki v Wanganui, 1964 and v North Auckland, 1964, Greg Coffey, Canterbury v Auckland, 1990, Andrew Mehrtens, Canterbury v Southland, 1995

Player Career Records

  • Most matches
    57, Grant Fox, Auckland
  • Most points
    932, Grant Fox, Auckland
  • Most tries
    53, Terry Wright, Auckland

Shield History as at 14 June 2021

Union Won Lost Number of games as holder (includes loss)
Hawke’s Bay (current holders) 2020 3
Pre-Season Defenses 2021
North Otago on Wednesday 30th June (7:05pm kick off)
Ngati Porou East Coast on Saturday 24th July (3pm kick off)


Otago 2020 2020 1
Taranaki 2020 2020 1
Canterbury 2019 2020 2
Otago 2018 2019 2
Waikato 2018 2018 5
Taranaki 2017 2018 5
Canterbury 2016 2017 6
Waikato 2015 2016 6
Hawke’s Bay 2014 2015 12
Counties Manuaku 2013 2014 7
Hawke’s Bay 2013 2013 1
Otago 2013 2013 1
Waikato 2012 2013 5
Taranaki 2011 2012 8
Southland 2011 2011 3
Canterbury 2010 2011 3
Southland 2009 2010 7
Canterbury 2009 2009 5
Wellington 2008 2009 6
Auckland 2007 2008 6
Canterbury 2007 2007 2
Waikato 2007 2007 1
North Harbour 2006 2007 4
Canterbury 2004 2006 15
Bay of Plenty 2004 2004 2
Auckland 2003 2004 5
Canterbury 2000 2003 24
Waikato 1997 2000 22
Auckland 1996 1997 7
Waikato 1996 1996 2
Taranaki 1996 1996 2
Auckland 1995 1996 4
Canterbury 1994 1995 10
Waikato 1993 1994 6
Auckland 1985 1993 62
Canterbury 1982 1985 26
Wellington 1981 1982 5
Waikato 1980 1981 9
Auckland 1979 1980 7
North Auckland 1978 1979 6
Manawatu 1976 1978 14
Auckland 1974 1976 11
Wellington 1974 1974 2
South Canterbury 1974 1974 2
Marlborough 1973 1974 7
Canterbury 1972 1973 3
Auckland 1972 1972 1
North Auckland 1971 1972 7
Auckland 1971 1971 2
Canterbury 1969 1971 10
Hawke’s Bay 1966 1969 22
Waikato 1966 1966 1
Auckland 1965 1966 4
Taranaki 1963 1965 16
Wellington 1963 1963 1
Auckland 1960 1963 26
North Auckland 1960 1960 2
Auckland 1959 1960 3
Southland 1959 1959 1
Taranaki 1957 1959 14
Otago 1957 1957 2
Wellington 1956 1957 5
Canterbury 1953 1956 24
Wellington 1953 1953 6
Waikato 1952 1953 7
Auckland 1952 1952 1
Waikato 1951 1952 7
North Auckland 1950 1951 3
South Canterbury 1950 1950 1
Wairarapa 1950 1950 1
Canterbury 1950 1950 1
Otago 1947 1950 19
Southland 1938 1947 12
Otago 1938 1938 6
Southland 1937 1938 1
Otago 1935 1937 9
Canterbury 1935 1935 6
Auckland 1934 1935 2
Hawke’s Bay 1934 1934 3
Canterbury 1931 1934 16
Wellington 1930 1931 2
Southland 1929 1930 4
Wairarapa 1928 1929 9
Canterbury 1927 1928 2
Manawhenua 1927 1927 3
Wairarapa 1927 1927 2
Hawke’s Bay 1922 1927 25
Wellington 1921 1922 3
Southland 1920 1921 2
Wellington 1914 1920 16
Taranaki 1913 1914 7
Auckland 1905 1913 24
Wellington 1904 1905 5
Auckland 1902 1904 1
Manawhenua Shield Team 1927