Is it time for a sturdier design for the Ranfurly Shield?
Rest easy lovers of the Ranfurly Shield, the famous old Log o' Wood will be in pristine condition if Taranaki get their hands on it on Sunday.
Some keen-eyed viewers were horrified on Saturday when they noticed Hawke's Bay captain Mike Coman hand it over to Counties Manukau opposite Fritz Lee.
The problem? Several of the crests had obviously fallen off during the week-long celebrations in Hawke's Bay and the union had put them back on with Blu Tack.
Some crests were also slid in behind the main silverware when that didn't work, giving the 109-year-old trophy a bit of a shabby look.
Not that Counties Manukau's players or officials were too concerned as they paraded it around South Auckland early in the week.
They were just happy to finally have their hands on it after 24 previous failed attempts.
Counties Manukau chief executive Andrew Maddock said the shield had been repaired when the union took it to the engraver to get the team's name etched onto it.
"As with every new holder, we got them to have a look if there was anything that could be fixed up," he said.
"We were in such elation at winning it we weren't too worried about little things like that.
"I can't believe it is so robust after so many years.
"Even this week, we have it on the road and in hands all day, every day."
The shield was restored, again, at the end of last season when it was discovered there was no more room on the crests to fit Waikato's name after they ended Taranaki's reign.
The New Zealand Rugby Union made all the crests smaller, etched the names of previous winners on and added a few blank crests for the new holder.
With the rapid change of holders, it would be pleased it did.
Maddock said ticket sales for Sunday's match was strong, with the stand almost sold out.
"The embankment numbers haven't been tested for a very long time but we think it could hold about 10,000."
Although ECOLight Stadium has an unofficial capacity of 18,000, Maddock thought that might be a stretch.
"If we had that many in there, it might be a bit uncomfortable," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News