Dixon marks 100th game for Hawke’s Bay in style

The Otago team watches as Hawke’s Bay celebrates winning the Ranfurly Shield. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The Otago team watches as Hawke’s Bay celebrates winning the Ranfurly Shield. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Hawke's Bay captain Ash Dixon has completed a second successful Ranfurly Shield heist in Dunedin and he has done it in his 100th game for the province.

The 32-year-old hooker helped wrestle the Log O’Wood from Otago in front of a modest crowd of 4800 at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday.

The Magpies won the match 28-9. It was more convincing on the scoreboard than when he helped the class of 2013 whisk the Shield away 20-19.

Dixon certainly has a sense of occasion.

Marking his 100th game with a shield party will make it memorable. And in 2013 it was another milestone.

"It is quite funny. It was my 25th birthday that day and we managed to just scrape home and now today.

"For us we are really stoked and pretty proud of today’s victory."

The Bay scored four tries to none but Dixon felt the margin was perhaps flattering

"It felt like a stop-start game and a bit scrappy to be fair.

"I think it took a while for us to settle and Otago had the ball for literally the first 36 minutes of the game.

"We were scrambling like hell to get back. Had they held the ball for one or two more phases, we could have been in big trouble.

"But we managed to hold out and we got one opportunity in that first half and nailed it.

"I’m proud of the ticker the boys showed there.

"We just needed the ball. But when we had it we were making mistakes and were not exiting well."

The Ranfurly Shield has had four different holders in as many weeks.

Taranaki took it off Canterbury only to lose it to Otago in its first defence. Otago suffered the same fate and Hawke’s Bay will have its first defence against Northland at McLean Park on October 16.

The win also returned Hawke’s Bay to the top of the Championship standings.

Otago is in fourth place.

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