ITM Cup 2015 Shirt Round-up

The 2015 ITM Cup is already in full swing, and as ever, there have been a wide range of awesome and er, loathsome shirts on display. While a few of the big teams have kept identical shirts from last season, there are still plenty of cool new shirts to get to grips with, let’s dive in…

Taranaki

Taranaki15Front

The reigning ITM Cup winners have been winning our rugby shirt-loving hearts for some time now, and it’s while last year‘s name-ridden shirt was a little bit tacky, this is truly a garment of champions.

It’s not really any different from any of the shirts Taranaki have worn over the last few years, asides from the return to a solid plain colour, but when it looks this nice, who cares?

Hoops, yes. Black and yellow, yes. Slightly odd main sponsor that seems to be too wide for the front of the jersey? Uh… we’d rather they didn’t but oh well, it’s still bloody lovely.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good

 

Tasman

Tasman15Front

The Makos shirt is another to only make a few slight tweaks to last year’s design, with the white shoulder panels and piping being removed to simplify the shirt somewhat, it’s a definite improvement on last year’s over-busy affair.

That said, we can’t help wishing that they’d gone a lot further and maybe done something about the fact that there’s a great big honkin’ shark sublimated onto the front of the shirt like a tshirt you’d buy in a shitty beach gift shop in 1993. Stay away from massive shark motifs – is that really so hard?

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Shit

 

Manawatu

Turbos15Home

The Tubos have had the same shirt for a few years now, but for some reason we’ve never looked at it before. This was clearly a very stupid mistake on our part, because look at the damn thing! ISC has done a fabulous job.

The white bars on the green background are an individual look, and one we’ve not really seen on shirts before, and with the rest of the design being so clean and classy, we really did drop a bollock not checking this out previously – a real stunner.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good

 

Counties Manukau

Counties15Home

There’s something really nice and old-school about Kukri’s 2015 take on the Counties shirt. It’s an old-school hooped design, which is always a winner in our book, of course, and we appreciate the greater prominence that black has been given in this design than it has in some others.

This is another leftover from last season that we didn’t get chance to look at in 2014, but we think it’s probably worth the wait – classy hooped designs never go out of fashion…

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good

 

Wellington

Lions15Front

Another tweaked jersey from last season for the Lions, and again, it’s one that we wouldn’t have been sorry to see the back of after just one season. One thing they haven’t fixed is the fact that the massive growly Lion on that dominates the front of the shirt still looks a little bit cross-eyed.

It kinda makes him look a bit adorable really, and we have to say that somehow we don’t quite dislike this on second glance as we did first time around. The shirt has been decluttered, which perhaps makes ol’ Leo seem a bit less cramped… either that or we suffered a brain injury at some point in the last 12 months. It’s still quite rubbish though.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: It’s still shit

 

Waikato

Waikato15Home

Another Kukri shirt, and another design that’s using hoops in an oh-so-classic looking way. There’s something definitely a bit 80s about this – maybe it’s the width of the hoops, or the way it contrasts with the white collar, but it definitely feels retro in a different way to the Counties shirt.

It’s a shame that the shirt is kinda ruined by a horrible, ugly, clashing main sponsor that also happens to be fucking MASSIVE. We try to ignore ugly sponsors when we can, but this one takes up the whole damn shirt and the green just doesn’t work with the red, yellow and black. Damn shame.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Shit

 

Canterbury

Canterbury15Front

Perhaps the subtlest of tweaks to the shirt formula this year has also produced one of the nicest. BLK have had mixed results with the Canterbury formula, but when they stick to the classic vibe, good things happen – very good things.

Last year’s shirt was nice, but by tweaking the shoulders and sleeves to make the black less prominent, and bring the hoops onto the sleeves in wonderfully old-school fashion, BLK has ticked pretty much all our boxes. It might have only taken about 15 minutes to tweak last year’s design for this, but that was 15 minutes very well spent.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good

So there you have it, our pick of this year’s ITM Cup shirts, both good and bad. If you’re wondering where your team is, chances are they probably have a totally unchanged shirt this year and we reviewed it last year, so check out our round-up and see if we’ve got you. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until next year! 

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