A Special Game Deserves a Special Jersey for the Battle of the Bridge

Thursday 22 October 2020, 3:52PM
By dave worsley

A special game deserves a special jersey as the 2020 edition of the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ match in the Mitre 10 Cup kicks off this Saturday at North Harbour Stadium.

Major partner of sport within the greater region, Barfoot and Thompson is pleased to bring the game to the public and to continue to support sport in the community.

“The Battle of the Bridge is one of rugby’s biggest rivalries around the world and Barfoot & Thompson see this as an event with the ability to bring communities together, something which is an important driver for our business. In 2020 where there has been so many challenges, united communities have never been so important,” said Peter Thompson.

Meanwhile Paladin sport, which partners with both QBE North Harbour and Auckland have designed a special commemorative jersey for the game.

“It is an honour and a privilege, for the first time, to be in partnership with both “Battle of the Bridge” teams, in Auckland Rugby and North Harbour Rugby respectively, as their Official Apparel Partner for Mitre 10 Cup. Auckland Rugby Union is the latest addition to our stable of Professional teams,” said Ed Harman, Global Co-CEO of The Paladin Sports Group.

“Paladin prides itself in the ability to do bespoke, high quality jersey designs with quick manufacturing turnaround times and this is evident in this special edition ‘Battle of the Bridge’ jersey designed specifically for this ‘steeped in history’ fixture. We are proud to be associated with both these teams and excited for this epic battle taking place at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday. May the best team win!”

For North Harbour the challenges this year have been immense with limited time to start the season or get a team practicing together, plus a blockbuster game against Canterbury to start the season with no crowd and other difficulties. Habour Chief Executive, David Gibson believes when it comes to a rivalry this game has it all.

“The Battle of the Bridge has been significant since 1986 when a great rivalry from each side of the bridge emerged and has continued ever since. To have the support of Barfoot and Thompson for rugby around the region as well as Paladin is huge to the growth and development of the sport, at all the levels. The special commemorative jersey is a symbol of both the rivalry and friendship between the two unions as well as the initiative from Paladin who are great supporters of North Harbour rugby,” said Gibson.

Auckland Rugby CEO, Jarrod Bear echoed Gibson’s thoughts and was looking forward to another great encounter between the two provinces.

“Auckland Rugby is focussed on building a stronger whanau through rugby. The long standing rivalry between North Harbour and Auckland only promotes that strength of whanau and it’s a privilege to have great partners like Barfoot & Thompson that can make things like this one of a kind jersey happen,” said Bear.

The first clash between the two sides was in 1986 at Eden Park, midweek with a victory to the home side. Since then there have been a wide variety of results and a fierce rivalry has developed between the two sides. The last three years have seen a big win to Harbour in 2017, followed by the reverse in 2018 and a 28-all draw last year.

The match kicks off at 7.05pm, Saturday 24 October. Tickets can be purchased at with a special deal of two general admission tickets for $19.85.