A bemused Liam Coltman looks on as the shield moves through
There's another party at Tony Brown's place - and you're
all invited again.
Brown, coach of the victorious Ranfurly Shield-winning Otago
rugby team, has urged fans to show up in big numbers at
Forsyth Barr Stadium on Sunday to support the blue and golds
in their first defence of the time-honoured trophy.
Addressing an excited turnout of fans young and old in the
Otago Daily Times Stand at the stadium yesterday,
Brown thanked everyone for their tremendous support since the
team's triumphant return after winning the shield in Hamilton
last Friday night.
But, mindful of the stern challenge expected from old foe
Hawkes Bay next Sunday, Brown asked for as many fans as
possible to turn out for the match (4.35pm kick-off). Tickets
for the first shield defence were on sale at the stadium
yesterday, with fans being urged to ''avoid the queues'' by
For those who do not remember, the ''Party at Tony Brown's
Place'' was the catchy, week-long marketing campaign used
back in May 1999, when the Highlanders played the Crusaders
in the Super 12 Final at Carisbrook. In those days Brown was
the team's pivotal player at first five-eighth.
But, before this Sunday's initial defence, the shield is
going on a lightning tour of the province - including
Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley,
amid a whirlwind ''but great'' 48 hours at the weekend, found
time to organise a busy schedule for the Log o' Wood.
It will start this morning with a radio show in the Octagon
before the shield returns to Forsyth Barr Stadium to be met
by staff and then visit some (yet to be decided) Dunedin
Tomorrow, the shield heads south to Balclutha, where it will
be at the Cross Recreation Centre for several hours from
On Wednesday, it will be taken inland for visits to
Palmerston, Ranfurly, Alexandra and Cromwell, before heading
to Roxburgh for the Otago Country rugby board meeting at
Starting in Wanaka on Thursday, the shield travels to
Queenstown, Lawrence and then back to Dunedin, possibly
stopping in at the Otago Country premier practice on the way.
On Friday, the shield will visit King's High School and
Outram School before a sponsors' function in Dunedin at
night. Saturday will see the shield on display in the Golden
Centre most of the day.
Mr Kinley said the tour schedule was provisional and some
details might change.
There were still some slots available for appearances, and it
was important to the union that as many people as possible
got to see the shield up close, he said.
The shield would travel with Otago players not in the
training squad for Sunday's match against Hawkes Bay. Mr
Kinley is expecting 15,000 to 20,000 people for that game -
''I'd be over the moon if we have that many.''
Ticket prices would stay the same but passes for the rest of
the season had been reduced to $80.
A curtain-raiser of the South Island secondary schools First
XV final between Otago Boys' High School and Marlborough
Boys' College was expected to be finalised for Sunday too,
which he hoped might attract even more people.
Otago's remaining home games this season are: v Hawkes Bay,
September 1, 4.35pm; v Manawatu, September 20, 7.35pm; v
Southland, September 28, 2.35pm and v Auckland, October 13,
• The ODT is publishing a special commemorative
edition on Wednesday to celebrate the historic shield win.
Anyone wishing to advertise in it should contact Paul Dwyer
(03) 479-3565 or Nic Dahl (03) 479-3545.