From east to west: they love the Chiefs

23:48, May 30 2014
Clovah, Shivarna and Jenaya Lewis
SISTER ACT: Gisborne girls Clovah, 5, Shivarna, 8, and Jenaya Lewis are long-distance Chiefs fans.

A Gisborne Chiefs fan has driven the width of the North Island to see his team play.

Bruce Stone has brought his three granddaughters Clovah, 5, Jenaya, 6 and Shivarna Lewis, 8 from Gisborne to New Plymouth, a seven-hour drive, for the Chiefs v Waratahs match tonight.

Stone's support for the mooloos comes from living in both Hamilton and Rotorua.

"I went through all the years being reminded how useless they were and I've been riding the wave for the last few years."

When New Zealand Rugby Union did the survey about Taranaki coming under the Chiefs banner, Stone was "all for it".

Stone said Taranaki had always supported players coming over from Gisborne. "A lot of boys from Gisborne Boys' High School end up coming this way to play for Taranaki.

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"It's another area that pushes our guys along. It was a good fit."

Before coming over for the Chiefs v Blues match on May 9, Stone hadn't been to New Plymouth since he was a youngster.

He was impressed by New Plymouth's parks and gardens and what the city had to offer for children.

"I made my mind up I was going to come back with the kids."

He had noticed the crowd at Yarrow Stadium wasn't quite as rowdy as Waikato Stadium.

"By Hamilton's standards, fairly quiet. But I reckon that's going to grow as they get used to it.

"Perhaps Taranaki has a different bell."

Stone's sister is strongly on the side of the Hurricanes, and he admits he's given his granddaughters a gentle push towards the Chiefs.

Taranaki Daily News