Rugby: Heart got side home - Brown

Otago captain Paul Grant holds the Ranfurly Shield aloft after his team beat Waikato in Hamilton...
Otago captain Paul Grant holds the Ranfurly Shield aloft after his team beat Waikato in Hamilton last night. Photos Getty Images
Heart. That is what won the Ranfurly Shield for Otago last night, coach Tony Brown said.

''It was just all heart from the guys,'' he said.

''It is an unbelievable feeling. I can't actually realise we have knocked it off. It has been 56 years and there have been so many teams that have gone before us, so many close games.

''It is just an awesome feeling.

''The guys just went out and played for the entire 80 minutes. They went out there and put their bodies on the line.''

Brown said Otago had to stick to its patterns throughout the match.

''We were all about performance in the match. We knew what we had to do to win the match and we knew it would take a massive, massive effort to win the game.''

Peter Breen and Otago coach Tony Brown take their turn to pose with the Log o' Wood.
Peter Breen and Otago coach Tony Brown take their turn to pose with the Log o' Wood.
He told the team at halftime to keep doing its job, and keep knocking Waikato over.

He paid credit to his forward pack and the inside backs of Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker and Peter Breen.

''They just play so tough, do the right things to put us in the right places on the field. They are the three smallest guys on the field but are great competitors.''

Otago assistant coach Phil Young said it was something of a surreal moment.

''For me, it has been so long as a player and as a coach. I never thought this day would come,'' Young said.

''It's pretty emotional, really. They are a great bunch of lads who will fight for each other... we said to them at halftime if me and Tony [Brown] have to come out at fulltime and pick you up and bring you back inside we'll do it.

''It was a total team effort. Everyone gave it their all.''

 

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