Hurricanes (rugby union)
The Hurricanes are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Wellington that competes in Super Rugby. The Hurricanes were formed to represent the lower North Island, including the East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Poverty Bay, Wairarapa-Bush and Wellington unions, they play at Westpac Stadium, having played at the now-defunct Athletic Park. The Hurricanes had a poor first season in 1996's Super 12, but rebounded in 1997 with a third placing; the team did not reach the play-offs for another five years as they struggled in the bottom four of the table. Since 2003 the Hurricanes have made the post-season play-offs seven times out of fourteen seasons, including the 2006 final, which they lost in foggy weather against the Crusaders 19–12. After hosting but failing to win the final in 2015, the 2016 season was the Hurricanes' best season to date, they won the final 20-3 against the Lions, after again finishing the regular season first and hosting the final. The Hurricanes were formed in 1996 as one of five New Zealand Super 12 teams, were called the Wellington Hurricanes.
The team's first coach was former All Black Frank Oliver. Their first match, played at Palmerston North Showgrounds against the Auckland Blues, was the first Super 12 match, they lost it 36–28. The team finished ninth. In 1997 the team made the semi-finals; however the consistent form shown during this season would not be seen again for many years. Following their 1997 season, the Hurricanes failed to qualify for the semi-finals until 2003. Despite this, they were still known for the attacking nature of their backline that included the All Blacks stars Tana Umaga and Christian Cullen; the team played with flair and could score at any moment, whatever their position on the field, giving rise to the teams catch cry of'expect the unexpected'. However the team struggled for consistent performances and at crunch time in matches, leading to patchy form and results. After the 1999 World Cup, Jonah Lomu's contract with the NZRU expired he was linked to many clubs around the world, in rugby league as well as union and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
On 23 November 1999 it was announced that the winger had resigned from the NZRU and agreed terms with the Wellington Rugby Union, despite a reported a £1.1 million offer by Bristol. The move to the Wellington union meant he could be included in the protected group of players for the Hurricanes; the Hurricanes opened 2000 with a new stadium. The highlights of that year included the victory over eventual champions the Crusaders, 41–29, in front of a packed house. At the end of the season the'Canes still had a mathematical chance of making the semis and only had to beat the Bulls to stay in contention. However, the Hurricanes played one of their worst games of the year, losing the match to one of the worst performing teams at that point in the competition's history and lost the possibility of qualifying for the semi-finals; the team finished eighth on the table. Despite the Wellington Lions winning the 2000 NPC, the Hurricanes finished ninth in the final standings in 2001. Another ninth placing in 2002 resulted in Graham Mourie.
In spite of reports that Colin Cooper, the Crusaders assistant-coach, had said he was "not yet ready to jump ship" and wanted to stay with the South Island franchise, the Hurricanes were able to lure him away from the champions and made him their head coach for the 2003 season. Cooper, along with newly appointed captain Tana Umaga, helped to mould the inconsistent and ill-disciplined Hurricanes into one of the top teams in the competition. 2003 was the beginning of a new era for the Hurricanes as they reached the semi-finals for just the second time in their history on the back of a strong seven-game winning streak mid-season. Their success came with the break-out year for mid-fielder Ma'a Nonu, his strong performances and partnership with captain Tana Umaga pushed out former All Black Pita Alatini and saw him score six tries en route to the All Black squad; the team benefited from the steady hand of David Holwell at first five-eighth and an improving and mobile forward pack. Hurricanes stalwart Christian Cullen would leave New Zealand shores for Irish club Munster after his omission from the All Blacks 2003 World Cup squad, despite scoring eight tries during the season.
All Black great Jonah Lomu was left out of the 2004 squad, due to a life-threatening illness that would result in a kidney transplant. He would never again play for the Hurricanes; the majority of the team was retained< for 2005. Including new centre Conrad Smith; the Hurricanes came back in 2005 to the form. Former New Zealand Colt Flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth was the real "find" of the season, scoring 139 points, which helped offset the departure of David Holwell to Ireland; the Hurricanes had tried to sign Australian playmaker Brock James, who had starred the previous NPC season for Taranaki and the Blues, young star Luke McAlister indicated that he would like to play in Wellington. With both Daniel Carter and Aaron Mauger at the Crusaders capable of playing first five-eighth the team made an attempt to lure Andrew Mehrtens to Wellington, without success. In 2006 two new teams entered the competition, the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs from South Africa and the Perth-based Western Force from Australia, creating the Super 14.
Rodney So'oialo was appointed captain of the Hurricanes to succeed former All Black captain Tana Umaga
Hawke's Bay Region
Hawke's Bay Region is a region of New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island. It is governed by Hawke's Bay Regional Council; the region's name derives from Hawke Bay, named by Captain James Cook in honour of Admiral Edward Hawke. The region is situated on the east coast of the North Island, it bears the former name of what is now Hawke Bay, a large semi-circular bay that extends for 100 kilometres from northeast to southwest from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. The Hawke's Bay region includes the hilly coastal land around the northern and central bay, the floodplains of the Wairoa River in the north, the wide fertile Heretaunga Plains around Hastings in the south, a hilly interior stretching up into the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges; the prominent peak Taraponui is located inland. Five major rivers flow to the Hawke's Bay coast. From north to south, they are the Wairoa River, Mohaka River, Tutaekuri River, Ngaruroro River and Tukituki River. Lake Waikaremoana, situated in northern Hawke's Bay 35 km from the coast, is the largest lake in Hawke's Bay, the 4th largest in the North Island and the 16th largest in New Zealand.
The regional council area consists of the territorial authorities of Wairoa District, Hastings District, Napier City, its southernmost district, Central Hawke's Bay District, plus the localities of Taharua in the Taupo District and Ngamatea in the Rangitikei District. It does not include the Tararua District, Woodville or Norsewood, which have been under the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council since the 1989 local government reforms. In June 2015, the Local Government Commission proposed the amalgamation of the four territorial authorities in the region with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, but this was rejected in a poll of residents; the region has a hill with the longest place name in New Zealand, the longest in the world according to the 2009 Guinness Book of Records. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is an otherwise unremarkable hill in southern Hawke's Bay, not far from Waipukurau; the region's population is 165,900 as of June 3.4 percent of New Zealand's population.
Around 81 percent of the region's population lives in the Napier-Hastings conurbation. Below is a list of urban areas; the region has a significant Māori population. A major local Māori tribe is Ngāti Kahungunu. Around 50.5 percent of Hawke's Bay's population affiliate with Christianity at the 2013 Census, making it one of two regions in New Zealand with a majority Christian population. Hawke's Bay Province was founded in 1858 as a province of New Zealand, after being separated from the Wellington Province following a meeting in Napier in February 1858; the Province was abolished in 1876 along with all other provinces in New Zealand. It was replaced with a Provincial District. On February 3, 1931, Napier and Hastings were devastated by New Zealand's worst natural disaster, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, which killed 256 people. Napier rebuilt and now the city is world-famous for its Art Deco buildings, celebrates its heritage each February with the Art Deco Weekend.
MTG Hawke's Bay Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery, has an exhibition on the earthquake, its causes and impact. The GDP of the Hawke's Bay region was estimated at $7.4 billion as of March 2017, 3% of the national GDP. The region is renowned with large orchards and vineyards on the plains. In the hilly parts of the region sheep and cattle farming predominates, with forestry blocks in the roughest areas; the climate is dry and temperate, the long, hot summers and cool winters offer excellent weather for growing grapes. Missionaries in the mid 19th century planted the first vines in Hawke's Bay and it is now becoming an important place for full bodied red wines; as of January 2010, there are an estimated 75 wineries located across Hawke's Bay.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12020171 Hawke's Bay is home to New Zealand's first space launch complex, Rocket Lab's orbital launch site on the Mahia Peninsula in Wairoa District. Wairoa District is home to'Space Coast New Zealand' - that stretch of Wairoa district's coastline from which space launch viewing can be undertaken.
Rocket Lab anticipates launching its 17m Electron vehicle early in 2017. Hawke's Bay is one of the most seismically active regions in New Zealand and has experienced many large and damaging earthquakes. More than 50 damaging earthquakes have rocked the region since the 1800s; some of the more notable are listed below. The Hawke's Bay regional council consists of nine elected members and holds elections every three years; as of the 2016 election the current council is: The region is served by a variety of radio stations including Radio Kahungunu, The Hits 89.5, More FM, access station Radio Kidnappers and local station Bay FM. As well, most of the national commercial and non-commercial operators have transmitters covering the region. Hawke's Bay has its own TV station, TVHB, which provides a mix of news and information programmes hosted by local personalities. Hawke's Bay produces some of New Zealand's finest wines and once a year Harvest Hawke's Bay celebrates the fact by offering a three-day wine and food festival.
This event attracts many thousands. Napier is home to the Mission Concert held early each year since 1993; the event, held at the Mission Estate Winery in Taradale, has attracted performers such as Kenny Rogers, Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, The B-52's
Napier, New Zealand
Napier is a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. The population of Napier is about 63,900 as of the June 2018. About 18 kilometres south of Napier is the inland city of Hastings; these two neighbouring cities are called "The Bay Cities" or "The Twin Cities" of New Zealand. The total population of the Napier-Hastings Urban Area is 134,500 people, which makes it the sixth-largest urban area in New Zealand followed by Dunedin, trailing Tauranga. Napier is about 320 kilometres northeast of the capital city of Wellington. Napier has a smaller population than its neighbouring city of Hastings but is seen as the main centre due to it being closer in distance to both the seaport and the main airport that service Hawke's Bay, Hastings' population figure includes 13,000 people living in Havelock North, considered a town in its own right; the City of Napier has a land area of 106 square kilometres and a population density of 540.0 per square kilometre.
Napier is the nexus of the largest wool centre in the Southern Hemisphere, it has the primary export seaport for northeastern New Zealand –, the largest producer of apples and stone fruit in New Zealand. Napier has become an important grape and wine production area, with the grapes grown around Hastings and Napier being sent through the Port of Napier for export. Large amounts of sheep's wool, frozen meat, wood pulp, timber pass through Napier annually for export. Smaller amounts of these materials are shipped via road and railway to the large metropolitan areas of New Zealand itself, such as Auckland and Hamilton. Napier is a popular tourist city, with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture, built after much of the city was razed in the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, it has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the country, a statue on Marine Parade called Pania of the Reef. Thousands of people flock to Napier every February for the Tremains Art Deco Weekend event, a celebration of its Art Deco heritage and history.
Other notable tourist events attracting many outsiders to the region annually include F. A. W. C! Food and Wine Classic events, the Mission Estate Concert at Mission Estate and Winery in the suburb of Taradale. Napier has well-documented Māori history; when the Ngāti Kahungunu party of Taraia reached the district many centuries ago, the Whatumamoa and the Ngāti Awa and elements of the Ngāti Tara iwi existed in the nearby areas of Petane, Te Whanganui-a-Orotu and Waiohiki. The Ngāti Kahungunu became the dominant force from Poverty Bay to Wellington, they were one of the first Māori tribes to come in contact with European settlers. Chief Te Ahuriri cut a channel into the lagoon space at Ahuriri because the Westshore entrance had become blocked, threatening cultivations surrounding the lagoon and the fishing villages on the islands in the lagoon; the rivers were continually feeding freshwater into the area. Captain James Cook was one of the first Europeans to see the future site of Napier when he sailed down the east coast in October 1769.
He commented: "On each side of this bluff head is a low, narrow sand or stone beach, between these beaches and the mainland is a pretty large lake of salt water I suppose." He said the harbour entrance was at the Westshore end of the shingle beach. The site was subsequently visited and settled by European traders and missionaries. By the 1850s, farmers and hotel-keepers arrived; the Crown purchased the Ahuriri block in 1851. In 1854 Alfred Domett, a future Prime Minister of New Zealand, was appointed as the Commissioner of Crown Lands and the resident magistrate at the village of Ahuriri, it was decided to place a planned town here, its streets and avenues were laid out, the new town named for Sir Charles Napier, a military leader during the "Battle of Meeanee" fought in the province of Sindh, India. Domett named many streets in Napier to commemorate the colonial era of the British Indian Empire. Napier was designated as a borough in 1874, but the development of the surrounding marshlands and reclamation proceeded slowly.
Between 1858 and 1876 Napier was the administrative centre for the Hawke's Bay Province, but in 1876 the "Abolition of Provinces Act", an act of the New Zealand Parliament, dissolved all provincial governments in New Zealand. Development was confined to the hill and to the port area of Ahuriri. In the early years, Napier covered exclusively an oblong group of hills, nearly surrounded by the ocean, but from which ran out two single spits, one to the north and one to the south. There was a swamp between the now Hastings Street and Wellesley Road and the sea extended to "Clive Square". On 3 February 1931, most of Napier and nearby Hastings was levelled by an earthquake; the collapses of buildings and the ensuing fires killed 256 people. The centre of the town was destroyed by the earthquake, rebuilt in the Art Deco style popular at that time; some 4000 hectares of today's Napier were undersea before the earthquake raised it above sea level. The earthquake uplifted an area of 1500 km2 with a maximum of 2.7 m of uplift.
In Hastings about 1 m of ground subsidence occurred. Although a few Art Deco buildings were replaced with contemporary structures during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, most of the centre remained intact for long enough to become recognised as architecturally important, beginning in the 1990s it had been protected and restored. Napier and the area of South Beach, Florida, are considered to be the two best-preserved Art Deco towns (with the town of Miami Beach, Florida, b
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Mitre 10 Cup
The Mitre 10 Cup is a rugby union professional competition for New Zealand unions. It consists of 14 teams, divided between the Premiership Division and the Championship Division; the Mitre 10 Cup is the second highest professional level of rugby union in New Zealand. The Mitre 10 Cup's 11-week regular and finals season runs two weeks after Super Rugby to the third week after Labour Day, with each team playing 10 games and having one week playing twice. Following the conclusion of the regular season, four teams from each division advance to their respective playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the final, played between the champions of the division's semi-finalists; the Mitre 10 Cup was formed in 2006 after the replacement of the National Provincial Championship with the Air New Zealand Cup for the 2006 season. The NZRU introduced the beginning of a professional era, announcing New Zealand's first professional rugby competition following the 2005 season. Today, the Mitre 10 Cup is one of the most popular sports league in New Zealand.
The team with the most NPC championships is Auckland with fifteen. The current champions are Auckland; the 2006 reorganization of New Zealand provincial rugby replaced the NPC's former three-division setup with two competitions. This differs from the original two-division setup used in the NPC from its creation in 1976 to 1984 in two key ways; the two current competitions are nationwide, while the original NPC Division Two was split on a North Island/South Island basis, the NZRU ruled that there would be no promotion or relegation between the Air New Zealand Cup and Heartland Championship, a feature that had always been present in the former NPC. The number of teams was reduced to 26, as the Marlborough and Nelson Bays unions merged to form the new Tasman union; the 2006 expansion of the Super 12 and Tri Nations Series had a major effect on the Air New Zealand Cup. This expansion created the Super 14, adding two extra fixtures to that competition, added two more Tri-Nations matches for the All Blacks in non-World Cup years.
Because of these changes, it was intended for players in the All Blacks selection pool to make only limited appearances in the Air New Zealand Cup. Before 2006, a number of competitions involving regional and provincial rugby union teams had taken shape in New Zealand; the earliest of these was the National Provincial Championship, launched in 1976 and continued until 2006. The competition was launched as the National Provincial Championship in 1976; the competition, was the major domestic rugby competition in New Zealand. The National Provincial Championship saw many alterations to its brand, it was first contested in 1976, although the basic format of Division One was much the same from until the 2006 reorganisation, there were a number of changes to the lower divisions. The only change before 2006 was in 1998, when the number of teams in each division was changed to ten in Division One, nine in Division Two, eight in Division Three. Having an number of teams in Division One removed the necessity for byes.
Starting that year, automatic promotion/relegation between the top two divisions was ended. In its place, the winner of Division Two played a promotion-relegation match against the bottom club in Division One to determine whether the clubs would switch places. Through 2002, this match was hosted by the bottom team in Division One, but the site was changed in 2003 to the home field of the Division Two champion. Auckland were the most successful team in the championship; the inaugural 2006 season was played by 14 teams over 13 weeks from 28 July until the grand final on 21 October. The inaugural format saw the season split into two rounds. In round one teams played everybody in their pool as well as a bye week. In round two the top three teams from each pool went into the top six, which faced every team they did not play in round one Every other team was split into either Repechage A and Repechage B, the winners of each repechage filled the two remaining spots for the quarterfinals with the top six.
The quarterfinals were followed by a grand final. The new competition saw the introduction of four teams elevated from Division two of the 2005 NPC; the competition was won by Waikato 37–31, after they beat Wellington in the Grand final in front of a capacity crowd of 25,000 fans at Waikato Stadium. The leading try-scorer was emerging star Richard Kahui from Waikato with eight tries, the leading point-scorer was Jimmy Gopperth from Wellington with 121 points; the 2007 season saw the NZRU dumping the pool system. The new format opened with a 10-week round-robin where each team missed out on playing three of the other teams; the finals format was not changed with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and a grand final. The champion was Auckland. Auckland finished the season at the top of the points table with a record 48 competition points, winning all ten matches. Jimmy Gopperth again finished as leading points scorer with a record 155, while Brent Ward from Auckland was the top try scorer with eight tries.
The 2008 champion was Canterbury, handing Wellington its third consecutive grand final defeat in a low-scoring 7-6 game. Blair Stewart from Southland was the leading points-scorer, with 105 points, while Wellington's Hosea Gear was top try scorer with a record 14 tries. In August, the New Zealand Rugby Un
George Nepia was a New Zealand Māori rugby union and rugby league player. He is remembered as one of the most famous Māori rugby players, he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2004 he was selected as number 65 by the panel of the New Zealand's Top 100 History Makers television show. Nepia was featured in a set of postage stamps from the New Zealand post office in 1990. Historian Philippa Mein Smith described him as "New Zealand rugby's first superstar". Nepia was born in Wairoa in Hawkes Bay. While his birth certificate stated that Nepia was born in 1905, he claimed to have been born in 1908. After finishing primary school in Nuhaka, Nepia was to attend Te Aute College but went to the nearby Maori Agricultural College instead. In 1926, Nepia married Huinga Kohere, they had three sons and a daughter. Nepia and his family settled on a dairy farm on the East Coast. Nepia was selected for the Hawkes Bay provincial rugby team in 1922. At that time Hawkes Bay held the Ranfurly Shield.
Nepia played on the wing but was shifted to second-five eighth. In 1924 Nepia was selected as a full-back for the All Blacks tour to the United Kingdom. Nepia was one of the stars of the tour, he played in all 32 games – being the only player to do so, scored 77 points. As the team did not lose any matches, they came to be known as The Invincibles. Nepia was a fine full-back, with a safe pair of a strong kicking game and a fierce tackle. Before games on the tour, he led the team's performance of a haka, composed for the tour. Nepia was omitted from the 1928 All Blacks tour of South Africa on racial grounds. Nepia returned to the All Blacks for tours to Australia in 1929 and against the British Lions in New Zealand in 1930; these were his last games for the All Blacks. In 1935 Nepia went to England to play rugby league professionally being signed by Streatham and Mitcham Rugby League Club in London for £500, his family remained in New Zealand. Because rugby union was a amateur game at the time, Nepia was cast out from rugby union.
Nepia transferred to Halifax. In 1937 he returned to New Zealand and played league for Manukau and played for the New Zealand Māori and New Zealand rugby league team. During July and August 1937 Nepia traveled to the South Island, representing both Hornby and Canterbury. In 1947 the New Zealand rugby union held an amnesty allowing former league players to return to rugby union. Nepia played a first-class match in 1950 against a Poverty Bay side captained by his eldest son; this made Nepia the oldest New Zealander to play in a first-class game, was the only time a father has played against his son in a first-class game. Following his retirement from playing rugby Nepia became a referee and worked as a farm manager in the Wairoa district. In 1975 his wife Huinga died. Nepia lived out his final years with his son Winston in Rangitukia, he died in 1986. George Nepia at AllBlacks.com
The Ranfurly Shield, colloquially known as the Log o' Wood, is a trophy in New Zealand's domestic rugby union competition. First played for in 1904, the Shield is based on a challenge system, rather than a league or knockout competition as with most football trophies; the holding union must defend the shield in challenge matches, which are played at the shield holders home venue, if the challenger is successful in their challenge they will become the new holder of the Shield. Although the professional era of rugby has seen other competitions, such as the ITM Cup and Super Rugby, detracting from the pre-eminence of the Ranfurly Shield, many still regard it as the greatest prize in New Zealand domestic rugby; this is due to its long history, the fact that every challenge is a sudden-death defence of the Shield, that any team, no matter how lowly, has a chance to win. The Shield is held by Otago, who claimed it from Waikato on 13 October 2018 at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton. In 1901 the Governor of New Zealand, The 5th Earl of Ranfurly, announced that he would present a cup to the New Zealand Rugby Football Union to be used as the prize in a competition of their choosing.
When the trophy, a shield, the NZRFU decided that it would be awarded to the union with the best record in the 1902 season, thenceforth be the subject of a challenge system. Auckland, unbeaten in 1902, was presented with the shield; the shield was designed as a trophy for not rugby. The picture in the centrepiece was a soccer one, was modified by adding goal posts on the soccer goal in the picture to create a rugby scene; the alterations to the centrepiece are still apparent. Auckland were on tour in 1903 and did not play any home games, thus did not have to defend the Shield, their first defence was against Wellington in 1904, was unsuccessful. Since the introduction of the National Provincial Championship in 1976, all home games a Shield-holder plays in the NPC or its successors, the ITM Cup and Heartland Championship, are automatically challenge matches. Auckland holds the record for the greatest number of consecutive Shield defences, 61 matches between 14 September 1985 and 18 September 1993.
During this period Auckland took the Shield on tour to provincial unions that for financial reasons, would be unlikely to be able to mount a challenge for the trophy. While dismissed by some critics because of the one-sided scores, it was regarded as a success by those involved. In 1994 when Canterbury wrested the Shield from Waikato, it was in battered condition, with large cracks and peeled varnish. Nearly a century of use had taken its toll. Canterbury player Chris England, skilled in woodwork renovated it, bringing it back into pristine condition; the Shield holder at the end of each season is required to accept at least seven challenges for the following year. All home games during league play, but not during knockout playoffs, in the Mitre 10 Cup or Heartland Championship are automatic challenges; the remaining shield defences must be made up of challenges from unions in the other domestic competition. For example, since North Harbour, an Air New Zealand Cup team, held the Shield at the end of the 2006 Cup season despite losing their home quarter-final to Otago, they were forced to defend the Shield against Heartland Championship teams during the 2007 pre-season.
Having done so, all their home fixtures in the round-robin phase were Shield defences until they lost the shield to Waikato. The Shield-holder is never forced to defend the Shield in an away match, although they may choose to, as Auckland, for example, did on a number of occasions during their record tenure between 1985 and 1993. More Auckland played both their mandatory defences against Heartland teams in 2008 on the road. If a challenger takes the Shield, all of their home matches for the rest of the season are defences of it. In August 2008, the New Zealand Rugby Union released a competitions review that proposed dramatic changes to the Shield rules: Once a team has defended the Shield four times, all of the holder's subsequent matches in league play would be mandatory defences, whether home or away; the Shield will not be at stake in finals. If an Air New Zealand Cup team holds the Shield at the end of the league season, that season's winners of the Meads Cup and Lochore Cup, the two trophies contested in the second-level Heartland Championship, will receive automatic challenges in the following year.
The changes were not implemented but did receive support from Auckland, which held the Shield when the NZRU released its report. Just under half of the unions that can contest for the Ranfurly Shield do not have an alias. South Canterbury's emblem is their own Coat of Arms, but a soldier represents current mascot, Tim and Ru. The mascots were used during wartime and were created by Ronald Murray. Many of the unions below have this situation, like Poverty Bay's Moa, it resembles their mascot after the 2011 squads post-match photo after the Lochore Cup final. Wairarapa's 1927-era saw them lose to Hawke's Bay 21–10 at Solway Showgrounds Oval, but was subsequently awarded the shield back on a residential breach. Last updated: after Otago's victory against Waikato on 13 October 2018. Ranfurly Shield 2010–2019 Rampant Aucks take the 2007 shield Ranfurly Shield at nzrugby.com