Paul Dwyer – Kick for Touch ODT Article
Dunedin got the four tries and five points to sit third-equal with Kaik when despatching the GI Spannerheads.
It looks assured of the second-and-third semi in two weeks. Varsity easily accounted for Zingers and is 14 points clear of the field and untouchable.
In the battle of the “Lead-lined spoon” AU prevailed comfortably over Pirates to record its third win of the season, while the Yardarm Hangers are last by 15.
Kaik just squeaked home at Taieri to remain third with the Sharks and still right in it with one round to go.
Southern had to work hard to win over Harbour to fight another day and remains four points out of the four.
It was a feisty encounter between the behemoth packs although the kilograms were reduced when Junior Sala, the Southern hooker, and Loa IIoa, the Harbour flanker, got their marching orders after a good old-fashioned “donnybrook”.
I doubt they’ll be getting game time this week.
So where are we at?
Well, Varsity, Harbour and Dunedin are safe in the four.
Dunedin has only Pirates to play so should finish second or third.
Harbour has to play Taieri at home and will be back to full strength so should finish second.
Kaik has to play high-flyer Varsity so a win seems remote, but a bonus point may get it in.
Southern plays GI away and needs five points to squeak in.
The prediction is Harbour will play Dunedin in the first semi, and Varsity to play Southern in the second as Kaik won’t get a point off Varsity, but it could easily go the other way.
That tells us it has been a great comp as the final games of the round have to be played to give us the make-up of the four.
The saga continues
Just when we thought we’d heard the last of the Eti Tonga saga, we were wrong.
I said a couple of weeks ago he was going to Southern after disputes with the coaches and ongoing injury problems at Harbour.
So after the big lock declared he was moving he was given the compulsory 14-day stand-down which would have made him available this weekend.
Apparently Southern was not happy with that and wanted him for its crucial game – unbelievably – against his old team, Harbour, last weekend.
It asked the Metro committee if a seven-day stand-down would suffice and Reggie and his cohorts agreed – isn’t Reggie from Southern??
When Lance (Abramovich) Spence, the chairman of Harbour, found out about this flouting of the rules he threatened legal action to the highest courts in the land.
Supposedly the red-faced Metro committee team did an immediate about-face, and rightly, so the 14-day stand-down was re-instated.
But on a positive note for the “Metro committee” I may owe them an apology.
I gave them a uppercut last weekend for drawing so many games out of town on test weekend.
Apparently it could have been “Vac” Simons from the schools draw committee who was at fault for this so I humbly apologise.
Where is the prem II’s grade at?
Unbelievably Eastern is winning this grade and, by my calculation is nine points clear. Varsity, Kaik and Dunedin are second-equal with Taieri two points back in fifth.
They are the only teams that can make the four.
This is a mercurial grade, to say the least. Varsity defaulted at the weekend, Eastern won by 70 and Dunedin won by 109. Well, it’s not boring!
Too close to call who joins Eastern in the semis.
Will Eastern challenge Pirates for a spot in “Prems” if it manages manage to win it?
That is the $64,000 question.
I will have an answer next week.
Some funny bits…
I see Taylor Haugh was playing for Varsity last weekend and reserving for Southern – a very versatile young player!
Either Southern was up to its nefarious “Eti Tonga” tricks or it meant to list Taylor’s older brother.
Will Ward from Pirates is obviously also very versatile as he was listed to play hooker and No8 at the same time.
I know they are short on players but that’s ridiculous.
The Dunedin Prem IIs enlisted a new medic, “Ben”, last weekend for their game against AU. And they were pretty disappointed that with five minutes to go till game time he still hadn’t showed.
Needless to say they were amazed when he wandered out of the AU Shed after strapping them all!
Then again it’s easy to mistake blue and maroon jerseys.
It didn’t help AU much as it still lost by 109.
So, Otago finally put Rory Ferguson from “Johnnies” in their Highlanders promising player squad after ignoring him last year and now he pulls out and is off to the Broncos.
Bit too late now, lads.
The Bronco has bolted.
Some more bits
Another default in North Otago rugby, Excelsor this time.
Is it time to admit there is a problem?
Dale Jarden, the Varsity loose forward/lock, plays his 100th game this weekend – good on ya, mate.
Has anyone been out at the Eels speeches recently?
When I was out there a few weeks ago ‘‘Gonzo” had them going for 45 minutes.
The crowd was falling asleep in the aisles – has it improved? By the way, Lawrence is the only unbeaten team in Otago.
Well done lads.
Won again last weekend over Dunedin’s best lawyer Russell Cassidy but to be fair to him at least he made a race of it.
If you look closely at the panel below, today’s contestant, Jimmy Reid, Dunedin’s moneymaker to the stars, has picked football teams!
The Zingers (12-) boys are playing at Boothill and that may be enough to get them home over AU and they are playing for their “beloved” Grace Mills.
Dunedin (13+) will get it done over Pirates at the Yardarm and play in the semis next weekend.
Varsity (12-) will beat Kaik up at High Veldt to extinguish their flames and hopes of the four but it could be close as they haven’t named their strongest line-up.
Southern (13+) is off to the Toolbox to play the Spannerheads and it needs five points or it is gone -enough said!
Harbour (12-) will get over the Eels at home to finish second.
It is close to its top line-up.
The late mail
Harbour flanker Ratu Dawai has been linked to a move to Toulon which would mean tearing up his Otago contract -surely not?
– Paul Dwyer
• There have been 648 tries in the 15 rounds of premier rugby at an average of 43.2 per week and 8.64 a game.
• University A has scored the most tries with 115 five-pointers. Pirates have dotted down just 31 times.
• Seven players have scored 100 or more points: Fletcher Smith (University A) 213, Rhys Morgan (Alhambra-Union) 149, Matt Jones (Kaikorai) 130, Logan Allen (Harbour) 116, Thomas Johnson (Zingari-Richmond) 103, Alex Barnsley (Green Island) 101 and Jono Hayes (Southern) 100.
• University winger Gavin Stark is the leading try-scorer with 19 tries. His team-mate, Fletcher Smith, is in second place with 14.