The Ranfurly Shield is going back to Invercargill. For the second time in two years Southland have beaten Canterbury to win the Log o' Wood.
They won 22-19, in a pulsating clash, which was the first top rugby game held in Christchurch this year.
Ironically Canterbury beat Southland last season to win back the Shield, after the Stags had won it off them the year before..
James Wilson nailed the match-winning drop-goal with three minutes to play, after the Stags fought back from 16-9 at half-time.
Trailing 9-16 at half-time, Southland dominated the second half, giving Canterbury just a few scraps in this NPC premiership and Shield game.
Scott Cowan scored in the 60th minute to help give Southland the lead, before Tom Taylor levelled it at 19-all with a penalty for Canterbury.
It was a deserved win for the Southlanders who outmuscled the Canterbury pack in the second half and made the home team make four times the tackles the challenger did.
It was a turn about in form after Southland had lost its opening two games and Canterbury had picked up maximum points against Auckland.
"They really grunted it out and we couldn't get our hands on the ball and that was the winning of the game for Southland," Canterbury captain George Whitelock said.
Southland's first defence will be against Counties Manukau on Friday.
* Manawatu put last year's 77-8 massacre at the hands of Northland behind them to claim a hard-fought 30-22 bonus-point win in Palmerston North.
In a tight encounter at FMG Stadium that saw the lead change hands several times, it was the Turbos, playing their third game in a week, who came away with the points after tries to Aseli Tikoirotuma, Johnny Leota, Aaron Smith and Callum Gibbins.
Aaron Cruden kicked two penalties and two conversions, the last of which denied Northland a deserved point for finishing within seven of their opponents.
Scorers and scorers for all the Saturday matches:
Manawatu 30-22 Northland
Tries: Tikoirotuma, Leota, Smith, Gibbins
Cons: Cruden 2
Pens: Cruden 2
Tries: Payne, Eyre, Munro
Cons: Munro 2
Manawatu: 15 Nehe Milne-Skudder, 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Frank Bryant, 11 Junior Tomasi Cama, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hamish Gosling, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Nick Crosswell (captain), 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Reece Robinson, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Grant Polson.
Replacements: 16 Bryn Templeman, 17 Jared Brock, 18 Fraser Stone, 19 James Oliver, 20 Isaac Thompson, 21 Lewis Marshall, 22 Casey Stone, 23 David Te Moana.
Northland: 15 Jared Payne (captain), 14 Lachie Munro, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Aaron Bancroft, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Jack McPhee, 9 Rhyan Caine, 8 Cameron Eyre, 7 Joel McKenty, 6 Dan Faleafa, 5 Marty Veale, 4 Mark Burman, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 Ross Wright, 1 Matt Wallis.
Replacements: 16 Tim Dow, 17 Tevita Vaipulu, 18 Cam Goodhue, 19 Dan Pryor, 20 Wanye Ngaluafe, 21 Ash Moeke, 22 Simon Munro, 23 Justin Davies.
Referee: James McPhail
Canterbury 19-22 Southland (RS)
Tries: Osborne, Maitland
Pens: Taylor 3
Pens: Wilson 4
Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (captain), 5 Luke Romano, 4 Ash Parker, 3 Andrew Olorenshaw, 2 Paul Ngauamo, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Nepo Laulala, 18 Reuben Thorne, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Mark Swanepoel, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Johnny McNicholl, 23 Sam Cottam.
Southland: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Glen Horton, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Matt Saunders, 11 Tim Cornforth, 10 James Wilson, 9 Scott Cowan, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tim Boys, 6 John Hardie, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (captain).
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Nick Barrett, 18 Ben Nally, 19 Kaleni Taituli, 20 Sonny Rangitohereri, 21 Scott Eade, 22 James Lew or Tony Koonwaiyou, 23 Michael Peterson.
Referee: Jonathan White
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