Big-time rugby league. In Dunedin.
This is an occasion to be cherished.
When the Warriors and the Broncos smash into their hit-ups
and complete their sets of six at Forsyth Barr Stadium
tonight, a sport that has not always been treated kindly in
this city will be welcomed with open arms.
Top-class rugby league has been spotted this far south about
as often as the moa.
The great rugby-league schism led to deeply entrenched views,
by the rugby union types, about the suitability of the 13-man
Otago rugby owned Carisbrook, so it was easily able to block
league. In 1924, the Kiwis played Great Britain in Dunedin,
and the game had to be played at Tahuna Park.
Years later, Carisbrook announcer Ray Cody was apparently
given the flick, when it emerged he had accepted a post on
the Otago Rugby League.
Time heals all wounds. The sight of the Warriors training
yesterday on Carisbrook, the heart and soul of Otago rugby
for over a century, proved that.
The old ground might be about finished but it was able to lay
out the welcome mat for the ''northern code'' at last.
Logan Park will also be buzzing with league fever today, with
the Community Roots Carnival starting at 12.30pm.
Forsyth Barr Stadium then hosts its first rugby league game
when the Warriors play the Broncos at 7.30pm.