Monday, November 20, 2006
Buck Shelford was renound for being an All Black hardman. In 1987 when the All Blacks played Wales at Ballymore in the World Cup Semi-Final, the result was 49-6 but was remembered more for Shelford flooring Welsh lock Huw Richards late in the match.
When Shelford spied Richards and Gary Whetton having a skirmish the latter alleged the Welshman grabbed his wedding tackle in a maul he decided to put an end to their frolicking and felled Richards with a well placed blow to the head.
Though Shelford was also belted by a Welsh player, he remained on his feet and on the field. Richards was not so lucky. After a brief visit to la la land, he woke up to discover referee Kerry Fitzgerald had sent him off for provoking the incident.
Remarkably, Shelford escaped censure by the officials and played a major role in the All Blacks winning the final the following weekend.