By: Nigel Yalden | Saturday, August 04, 2012 9:00 AM
This is the day, as a rugby fan, you’ve waited years and years for.
Your team has the chance to claim one of the most prestigious prizes in all rugby.
It’s a time to cherish, a time to savour, but also a time to reflect, as you think about all that has gone before.
Everything that you, as a loyal, vocal, committed rugby supporter has gone through with your team.
You’ve sat and watched them with the warm rays of the sun on back.
You’ve sat and watched them with the cold winter rain driving into your face, icy droplets stinging your cheeks.
But your support for your team has never waived.
You think of the good times and a smile breaks out on your face.
You think of the bad times and that smile vanishes.
You think of the near misses and your bottom lip quivers.
You think of the abject failures and your blood boils
You think of all those famous names that wore the jersey with such pride; great players who displayed endless amounts of heart, courage and determination and yet never got this opportunity.
And as you contemplate, as you compute, as you digest all of those factors, you can’t help but believe that this time is different.
This group is different.
These coaches are different.
But then you think of your opposition and you’re snapped back to reality.
They are good.
Oh my goodness, they are very, very good.
They have immense talent in their playing ranks and a coach who’s been successful for a long time.
This isn’t his first time at the rodeo.
He’ll have his side ready; they’ll be on edge for the challenge your boys will provide.
But this year will different.
This year is different.
There isn’t going to be forty points in this one like last time the team was in this situation.
Or was it fifty?
Whatever it was, it will irrelevant after today.
For today is the day.
Today is your team destiny.
Today your team creates history.
You’ve wished it forever.
You’ve entertained the thought and now you feel confident.
Confident enough to say it out aloud; to shout it from the roof tops of the world.
Today, Wanganui wins the Ranfurly Shield!
By the way, good luck the Chiefs in that Super whaddyacallit thingy tonight.
** As published in the Waikato Times on Saturday 4 August 2012 **Photo: Photosport