Picture – Jack Medder – looking good @ 79 yrs of age still supporting the hawks
ODT – Paul Dwyer – “Kick for Touch”
In the battle of the Plains, Taieri shut out GI to record a comfortable victory.
Michael Collins, playing in the unfamiliar role of first five, ran the game with aplomb.
I can tell you the Eel supporters drew a collective sigh of relief.
Kaik dismantled Zingers to remain stubbornly in third and just won’t go away.
Southern stayed in the hunt, three points out of the four, when ultimately crushing Pirates but there are signs of life at the Yardarm.
Harbour gave Varsity the workout it needed but succumbed late to the Varsity strike power out wide.
Varsity is now 10 clear and, as predicted, this comp is all but over.
Dunedin muddled through with an indifferent display over AU to remain fourth.
AU is already dreaming of next year.
Let’s shake it down and see where the pieces fall for the semis.
Varsity is 10 points clear, finishes top and won’t be too worried who it plays.
The only concern is the semis will be played outdoor at the Varsity Oval and, if the students play the heavyweight packs of either Dunedin or Southern, that may cause some heart palpitations. Harbour, in second, has to play Southern and Taieri and is currently six points clear of third.
It will need to win one of those games to guarantee second.
Kaik, in third, has Taieri and Varsity left and needs to win both to guarantee a spot.
Kaik should account for Taieri so it could all come down to the Varsity game in the last round.
Dunedin, one point behind Kaik, has GI and Pirates to go and should win both to finish second or third.
Southern, three points behind Dunedin, has Harbour and GI left.
If it loses to Harbour this weekend all bets are off as that would leave a top four of Varsity, Harbour, Dunedin and Kaik.
So I’m picking a top four at this stage of Varsity, Harbour, Dunedin and Southern with Kaik to just miss but all will be revealed after the game between Southern and Harbour tomorrow.
Now, as you know, I interviewed Gareth Davies on Speight’s/ODT Rugby Chat last week and what a great guy he is, the Welsh chairman and former Welsh and Lions flyhalf.
I asked him off air why the shortage of surnames in Wales.
Let be fair, 90% of them are called Williams, Price, Edwards, Pugh, Davies or Jones.
Gareth told me all relates back to the 14th century when the current ”heavy” at the time, Ray, I think he was called, felt it was time to take on England and he was trying to form a legion to get it sorted.
This little ditty was penned to commemorate the event.-
Take 10 men and call them Rice
Take 20 more and call them Price
200 more and name them Hughes
Now William call a 100 score and form now a legion more.
And then he said in languid tones
Name all the other bastards Jones
Speaking of test match stories.
A well-known auburn-haired publican from Queenstown who shall remain nameless was trying to get to Dunedin early on Friday so he didn’t miss out on anything.
Now they have recently acquired a ”hairy rat” (dog) and the aforementioned publican said they had to leave early to drop the dog off by 1pm at the latest at the kennels in Cromwell or they wouldn’t take it.
His wife thought this was odd, as even the Savoy in London keeps better hours!
The word is she has now found out he may have stretched the truth slightly by four or five hours but I hear it was worth the grief.
The form XV
Haven’t run one for a while through to a lack of space but after much research here it is: (15) Tony Ensor (K), (14) Gavin Stark (V), (11) Mitchell Scott (T), (13) Shae Tucker (V), (12) Josh Ioane (S), (10) Fletcher Smith (V), (9) Josh Walden (S), (8) Paul Grant (K), (7) Hame Toma (D), (6) Dillon Hunt (V), (5) Mark Grieve Dunn (D), (4) Josh Dickson (V), (3) Donald Brighouse (D), (2) Sam Sturgess (V), (1) Mike Mataafa (S).
The other interesting bits
Some rocket scientist at AU decided the other week against Taieri that the team should ditch the traditional maroon jersey in favour of a replica Alhambra jersey for a change.
They ended up with some striped Canterbury jersey.
As you can imagine, the ”club heavies”, who nearly all have old ”Union” ties, were horrified.
Some stormed out, some have refused to come back, including ”Ching” Reid, a life member apparently.
The committee should be ”strung up” some are saying!
Apparently, Reggie and the Metro committee have been at it again, tampering with the prem colts competition – they did it last year and it was a disaster.
So, for good measure ,they’ve had another crack over points for the bye in the second round – don’t they remember the old adage ”if you do the same thing you get the same result” – watch this space.
Speaking of the Metro committee, it arranged for 18 town teams to play out of town on test weekend – not your best work lads, give yourselves an uppercut!
To finish, I’ve been monitoring the results of the Southern Wide first XV comp and ”Johnnies” is the only unbeaten side and recently racked five short of 200 in two games: ”Bradmanesque figures.”
Nobody knows who coaches them but apparently there are three of them and they call themselves ”directors” – very elitist.
Is it time for them to come up to prem colts?
Make up your own minds.
The side is playing Waitaki at McGlashan this weekend – get along.
Destroyed Herald hack Murray Kirkness last weekend so my winning percentage is transcending God-like status.
Up against Russell Cassidy, Dunedin’s best lawyer and Varsity stalwart and also father of ”Dog” Cassidy, so the percentage keeps trending up.
The Sharks (13+) are at home to the Spannerheads with revenge on their minds and they have to keep on winning handsomely to guarantee a spot in the four and do.
A slightly understrength Varsity (13+) will be too classy for Zingers at home but I guarantee it won’t be a 100 this time!
AU (13+) racks up win No3 for the year over a hapless Pirates outfit.
I see the Highlander Coltman gets a start in the front row so that will help them.
The Eels are at home to Kaik (12-) and should go close to high flier Kaik.
But Kaik gets it done, as it has too much resting on it.
In the biggest game of the season so far and in the battle of the mastodon packs, Southern (12-) maybe gets it done over the Hawks and keep its season alive.
The late mail
Did Old Boys lose to Maheno in the north last week?
It must be a misprint – a default I can handle but a loss!
Highlander Gareth Evans turned out as a ref in the match between Dunedin and Taieri under-13 sides in a game a couple of weeks ago.
Bizarrely, he couldn’t manufacture a Dunedin win, so no hope for him as an official but good on you, mate.
Great week for England, it’s out of the EU and it loses to Iceland in the Euros.
Invade Poland, Germany and Scotland to restore some pride to Blighty, I say!
– Paul Dwyer