“Who cares about the Shield other than maybe Jake [White] and Dobbo [John Dobson]?” The question, asked in response to a story written in an attempt to hype Saturday’s United Rugby Championship (URC) derby between the Bulls and Stormers around the local conference trophy, was a fair one. Even those two coaches, White of the Bulls and Dobson of the Stormers, have been a bit ambiguous about its importance.

Though White has spoken up the Shield in some of his press conferences, he said in a television interview ahead of his team’s first derby that he wasn’t interested in the Shield trophy. What he was saying was completely understandable — the URC trophy is the main prize...

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