Taranaki have done it again! Beauden Barrett and Jordie Barrett both started for Taranaki as they claimed a nail bitting 22-23 victory over Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup on Saturday.
While Beauden scored a try and Jordie slotted the match winning penalty, the man of the moment in the clash was openside flanker Lachlan Boshier who was nothing short than a menace at the breakdown.
Whenever Taranaki needed to relieve the pressure, Boshier stepped up to win the turnover or penalty at the breakdown. None were as important as his pilfer in the 79th minute with Canterbury attacking with a match winning score within their reach.
Boshier burrowed in to win the penalty which Beauden Barrett bravely tapped and ran shortly after as Taranaki wound down the final seconds on the clock before Barrett smashed the ball into touch.
Taranaki started the game brightest as Jordie Barrett slotted an early penalty before Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens toed ahead a pass from Boshier before regathering and scoring in the corner.
Jordie Barrett missed the chance to increase the lead but it did not take too long for Taranaki to add to their lead as Tupou Vaa'i got on the end of a wonderful score, his second in as many weeks after receiving his maiden test call up.
Jordie Barrett started the counter attack from a Canterbury kick before handing it to the young second row to dart over the line as Taranaki lead 0-13.
Richie Mo'unga finally got Canterbury on the board with a penalty before Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens grabbed his second after a trademark break and run from Beauden Barrett.
Taranaki managed to hold off a number of promising attacks from Canterbury in the latter stages of the first half with Boshier once again getting in the mix to win a number of turnovers as Taranaki took a healthy 3-20 lead into the break.
Irishman Oli Jager powered over the line from close range as Canterbury mounted their comeback with Mo'unga crucially missing the extras. Jordie Barrett missed another penalty before Richie Mo'unga found his way through the defence thanks to a crisp pass from Mitchell Drummond.
How good is it having the All Blacks playing back playing provincial rugby? Check out this epic try by Richie Mo'unga! @crfu are making a strong come back against @TaranakiRugby 🏉— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) September 19, 2020
60 min: 15 v 20
#CANvTAR #RanfurlySheild #mitre10cup pic.twitter.com/8ACNZBE30x
Mo'unga added the extras to make it a 15-20 game with 23 minutes left to play.
Canterbury looked to threaten once again after getting a penalty soon after the restart with Boshier once again winning a turnover once again.
However, the Cantabs did manage to get into the Taranaki 22 and after an extended period of pressure, Andrew Knewstubb crossed the whitewash with 9 minutes to play after another excellent pass from Mitchell Drummond.
The conversion from Mo'unga put Canterbury in the lead for the first time in the game but it did not last long as they conceded a penalty just inside their half, well within Jordie Barrett's range.
The All Black fullback stepped up and nailed the conversion that ultimately sealed Canterbury's fate.
With time running out Canterbury, attacked into Taranaki's half with a penalty advantage that expired soon after entering the Taranaki 22. The Naki defence stood strong before the man of the match, Lachlan Boshier won a pivtol penalty just metres out from his try line to secure the win.
The victory means that the Ranfurly Shield will head back to Taranaki fro the first time in two years where they will put the Shield up against Otago, the side Canterbury took the Shield off of.
Meanwhile, Lachlan Boshier's efforts won't go unnoticed with Ian Foster reportedly set to add a further 10 players to his All Black squad for the Bledisloe Cup tests and Rugby Championship. The flanker made a hell of a statement in the Shield clash after standing out for the Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa, despite the Chiefs' poor run of results.
Taranaki are expected to be without their All Blacks next weekend for their first defence as the All Blacks gather for a training camp.
View this post on Instagram