Looking to grow in division two

The Collegiate Rugby Club is in its 91st year and is back competing in the Southland-wide division two competition.

Last year, Collegiate did not have enough committed players to compete at this level and instead entered the presidents’ grade, designed for social rugby players and veterans.

The fresh looking Collegiate committee worked hard over summer and assembled a squad for preseason training. The effort was rewarded when the team become one of the 11 teams in division two this year.

After playing over 300 games for the senior team, Jason McIntosh is still playing this year and is also the team coach. McIntosh says there was no future for the club if they stayed in the presidents’ grade.

"We needed to get our young players back, we didn’t get them all back with us, but hopefully we can next year."

Collegiate has a big squad of 31 players but as the squad has a lot of shift workers, every player is required.

"Some of our shift workers spend three weeks in the mines in Australia and then three weeks here with us. We also have a couple more doing shift work at Tiwai and the freezing works."

Collegiate lost their competition opener 36-5 to Wakatipu on their home ground at Lindisfarne St 36-5 to Wakatipu. In round two, Collegiate earned a bonus point in their narrow 29-22 loss in Mataura.

The maroon and golds celebrated hard in front of their loyal supporters and sponsors after beating Central Pirates 18-10 in round three.

The team then had a tough run striking three of the top teams away from home, resulting in losses to Mossburn, Riverton and Midlands.

This weekend Collegiate will host the Otautau Ohai Nightcaps team.

Following this match Collegiate also has their final three games at home against Waiau Star, Waikiwi and Drummond Limehills Star.

McIntosh says everybody in the team is putting in a 100% effort and are being led well by co-captains James Ratema and Renata Moeke.

The Collegiate committee is keen to see the club grow, and hopes to field two senior teams and two schoolboy teams next year.

 - By John Langford


Collegiate squad 2024: James Ratema, Aaron McIntosh, Connor Templeton, Duanne Harper, Dylan Anderson, Eldrix Cello, Hayden Butterfield, Jak Bruce, Jason McIntosh, Jayden Hodge, Joel Cullinane, Nathan Scott, Nepia Simeon, Pohatu Whaitiri, Renata Moeke, Richard Cunningham, Richard Thurlow, Sitiveni Waqanivosa, Sonny Maoake, Spadie Ripaki, Thomas Faulkner, Tuhoro Scott, Wiremu Cooper, Callum Roderique, Achsin Turuariki, Devon Pearce-Mann, Iuaufui Pitovao, Malachi Torea, Pa Kimiora, Terry Thurlow, Jade Hira.