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He should have had 400 wickets. Then they would have changed the rules for him.

400 wickets

Was a great game to watch, and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. The gap in skill was obvious - first touch from Newcastle players was so much cleaner, the movement quicker, and the vision and decision-making faster. Sydney certainly did their bit though, and contributed to an entertaining match.

I thought Coloccini at the back for Newcastle was thoroughly impressive- while perhaps not tested hugely, his control of the game and composure on the ball was a delight. 

Good game

So what was the crowd number? Did this event make any money for FSB or was it yet another loss making venture? When is the next major event taking place DVML? What goodies have you got lined up other than ITM Cup which attracts only small crowds of die hards? I think its about time you shared the financial outcomes and schedule with the owners of the stadium, don't you? By the way DVML, the owners of the stadium are Dunedin's ratepayers just in case you need reminding.

Well done Toon

Not wishing to bag Steve Walsh but too often if we do not speak out about the elephant in the room (bad refereeing)  then the continuing bad decisions will keep being made.

The penalty count was 14 - 6 against the Otago.  The last four were dished out in the closing minutes of the game.  Some were very technical penalties.  The result of the pedantic interpretation was a kick in front, the loss of the game, the exiting of the finals and the lost chance to compete for higher honours.  This sanction was too severe for the weakness of the Otago scrum.  Surely the referee has the discretion to moderate the imposition by resetting the scrum, free kick etc.  Not that Walsh would consider that anyway - he seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Otago.

I understand that the game score is 23-2 against the Highlanders with Walsh in the centre.  Is it possible to generate the penalty count "for and against" of these matches?  I would bet that the weight would overwhelmingly would be against Otago.

Rugby has many issues.  Too many penalties is one of them.  Walsh is another.  Until the authorities grasp the nettle and sort the pedantic referees and the oversized rule book out I fear the game will not grow.  The continual stoppages, the unfairness of some of the refereeing decisions along with "look at me" attitude of the referees and their sideline cronies make for a stuttering, unattractive and frustrating spectacle.

And the referee?

Barely at primary school, I had a wall poster of the All Blacks. I don't know if Skinner was in that lineup, perhaps Horsley was. Many years later, the latter threw me out of his pub, Western Park, Wellington.

Team photo '56

Russel: I have no problem if the "largely uninterested membership of 209" can be persuaded to part with the required money - if people pay for their own fun more power to them. On the other hand I do have a real problem if the ratepayers would be saddled with supporting another rather obviously dying sport - this push does sound a bit like a softening up attempt,

Let's face it, most of the people watching racing are sitting in TABs, not the stands, I don't see why there needs to be more than one track in the whole country. It's also time to stop pretending that the purses for racing are a valid charitable purpose suitable as a pokie charity or any kind of charitable deduction, they simply should be a business expense that shows up on TAB's bottom line.

Paying their own way

My point Sports_fan is that there are only 203 members of Forbury and they are, according to the article, uninterested.  The same thing is happening to many golf clubs around the country.  Declining memberships, increasing costs, and income derived from potentially shonky and risky sources such as pokie funds.  I know perfectly well that one track is gravel and one is grass, but there's no reason at all why a short gravel track can't be installed on the inner of the Wingatui track.  The main reason is apparently the long established unwillingness for harness and racing to work co-operatively.  Much like rugby union and rugby league as far as I can see.  Just have a look over the city from the hills above St Clair and it is amazing just how much land is taken up by Forbury Park sitting there mostly unused - pretty much like the white elephant at the other end of the town.

Time to work together

As a pre-schooler, I was a near-neighbour of the Skinners at the north end of North-east Valley. My family shopped at their grocery; when I started school, Dorothy took me on the tram; and I sometimes played with Kevin, a year or so older than me. When i got my first tricycle Mum warned me: "Dont let that big Skinner boy ride it; he'll break it!" I think I didn't, and so he didn't!  

Humble 'enforcer'

Russ n Bev: You are aware that Wingatui is a grass track and Forbury is an all weather surface right? They are not the same, so simply "moving" the harness out to the "unused" Wingatui as you suggest would not work. What about the hundreds of horses that are trained out there, the two training tracks on the inner of the course & the pony club on the very inside?

Forbury is special in the fact it is a dedicated harness venue. You are right on the outside rail, the winning post is right in front of you and it is the 1006m circumference track, rather than the 2200m of Wingatui. [Abridged]


Forbury Park

Most thought they'd struggle to get close to beating the Sharks but a great team effort nearly brought home the bacon.

A couple of good props for next year please Jamie, and we'll be in for an even better 2015.


Top effort Highlanders
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