Hanan Shield

hanan_shield1The Hanan Shield is one of the most prestigious trophies in New Zealand’s domestic rugby union competition. First played for in 1946 after being presented by the Mayor of Timaru, A.E.S. Hanan.

The Hanan Shield is based on a challenge system played between North Otago, South Canterbury and Mid Canterbury. The holding union must defend the Shield in challenge matches, and if a challenger defeats them, they become the new holder of the Shield.

A rules change at the end of the 2011 season meant that the Shield is up for challenge in any meeting between the holders and one of the other two teams.

The Hanan Shield is currently held by Mid Canterbury, who beat South Canterbury 34–27 on 21 September 2013. One month later Mid Canterbury successfully defended the Shield on 26 October by defeating North Otago 26–20 in the 2013 Meads Cup final.

Nearly one year later, Mid Canterbury were able to defend it for a second time in a row after defeating North Otago 28–7.


Hanan Shield Overall Record (1946–2006)

Union Played Won Loss
SOUTHCANTERBURYSouth Canterbury 129 88 41
MIDCANTERBURYMid Canterbury 109 47 62
NORTHOTAGONorth Otago 84 26 58
  • Draw goes down as a win to the holders


In a fiercely contested clash in front of a record crowd at Oamaru’s Centennial Park, Mid Canterbury played themselves into a Shield winning position.

Mid Canterbury made the decisive break thanks to two stunning solo tries to young winger Brenton Connell, then hung on grimly in the final 20 minutes despite losing star midfielder Jack Umaga to a broken jaw.   The match is generally considered to be among the most memorable clashes in the history of New Zealand domestic rugby.


August 9 saw Mid Canterbury make their first Hanan Shield defence of 2008 when they ran out onto the Ashburton Showgrounds to play South Canterbury. It was to be the first Hanan Shield match contested under the new Experimental Law Variations (ELVs), and it was South Canterbury who put on the early pressure with prop Timaru Tafa crossing in the 6th minute. Mid Canterbury’s reply was simply a piece of brilliance as 19-year-old wing Brenton Connell sliced through a midfield gap on his own 10 metre line, broke a tackle and sprinted away down the left-hand flank to score in the corner. In the 29th minute, loose forward Jon Dampney showed his strength in shrugging off a tackler to score in the corner.

Connell made it two for the afternoon when Dampney took a quick throw, which saw the ball spread to the opposite sideline into the hands of Connell who crossed the line and scored. South Canterbury started the second half strong, and scored two tries in the first 10 minutes, to loose forward Eric Smith and Tafa got his second. Mid Canterbury were trailing 19-18 but were not about to give up.

A try to second five-eighth Richard Fridd pulled them back into the game, while two more tries were scored by first five-eighth Dan Maw and Dampney who scored his second.

Mid Canterbury 37 (Brenton Connell 2, Jon Dampney 2, Richard Fridd, Dan Maw tries; Dan Maw pen, two con)
South Canterbury 19 (Timaru Tafa 2, Eric Smith tries; Luke Reihana two con)
HT: 18-5

Tally table

* Current Hanan Shield holders as of 12 September 2016.
Hanan Shield Holders
Union Won Successful Defences
Note: specific data between 1946–2011 is unknown at this stage.
North.Otago 24 September 2011 1
Mid Canterbury 8 September 2012 0
South Canterbury 13 October 2012 1
Mid Canterbury* 21 September 2013 7


After defeating Mid Canterbury 24–18 on 24 September 2011, North Otago lost the Hanan Shield 7–3 to Mid Canterbury on 8 September 2012.

On 13 October 2012 South Canterbury claimed the Shield by defeating Mid Canterbury 17–15 at Alpine Energy Stadium in Timaru. South Canterbury outscored their opponents by three tries to two.

South Canterbury reaffirmed their Shield win by defeating Mid Canterbury 48–20 in the 2012 Lochore Cup semifinal on 21 October.


After winning the Shield and defending it once, South Canterbury lost 34–27 against Mid Canterbury on 21 September 2013.

Mid Canterbury would then go on to defend the Shield by defeating North Otago 26–20 in the 2013 Meads Cup final on 26 October. Also, this was Mid Canterbury’s first time winning the Meads Cup.


Mid Canterbury was to next defend the Shield against North Otago on 4 October 2014 in Ashburton. They successfully did so, winning the match 28–7.

Mid Canterbury next defended the Shield against South Canterbury in Timaru on 11 October 2014, only one week after their match against North Otago. They again did so successfully, winning 24–7.


Mid Canterbury defended and won the Hanan Shield twice in the 2015 Heartland Championship .


Some Information sourced from Wikipedia


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