If ever a province deserved to win the Ranfurly Shield it was Southland.
The excitement when the Stags beat Canterbury last year infected Invercargill and the hinterland and the people have stayed behind the team.
It’s been a really tough week in the south, holding on to the shield would mean much more to Southlanders than winning it would to Aucklanders.
If it came to community support the challengers wouldn’t have a chance and the defenders know that. They’ll be playing their hearts out.
UPDATE: 9-6 to Southland. Phew!