All-in brawls in South Otago, Dunedin

What is with the pitch invasions?

So we had a brawl in the Owaka v Crescent (the Kai Boys) game which involved the teams, the reserves, probably the odd spectator and a few passing sheep. What the ODT didn't report was it started with a couple of skinny pasty-faced wingers throwing handbags and escalated when the reserves joined in and all the forwards rushed in to give it the impression of a real brawl. What also wasn't reported was that the man with the highest IQ on the entire field, midfielder Chris Chittock from Owaka, picked up the ball and wandered unopposed 50m to score and bring Owaka back into the game at 15-14.

What has been kept quiet is that a similar brawl took place up at High Veldt on Saturday in a senior game between Kaik and Southern. That game was called off in the 65th minute. A scuffle started on the sideline and again a winger from Kaik thought he'd break it up (silly move) and he was king hit and left prostrate and the donnybrook from hell ensured. All the players were in, some seen running off down Lynn St, arms and legs, blood and gore everywhere. It was the subject of a judiciary hearing on Wednesday but everyone is remaining tight-lipped. I'll report back as rumours seep out.

How arrogant is this?

I read with incredulity in this fantastic liftout last Friday that star prop Morgan Mitchell couldn't play against his old club, the Barbarians, because he had to go and help the Highlanders warm up before the Lions game. Really? Doesn't the sheer arrogance of that strike you as appalling? I know if I was the coach of Star, I'd be less than impressed. No blame attached to Morgan - he is in their wider training squad and would have been well paid to be there. I have since heard he was there all week which softens it slightly but yet another example that nobody cares about the lifeblood of New Zealand rugby - club rugby.


At the risk of being labelled a male chauvinist pig (it won't be the first time!), we are now seeing gender neutrality with our sports commentators. It's taken me years to accept Melodie Robinson as a rugby commentator but now we are being overrun with the Rickie Swanells of this world as we strive for gender equality. When we had Brendon Telfer covering netball, it was a disaster and is this any different? Look, I know it's hard being a rugby commentator in NZ because we are all experts but some of the experts they are trolling out are just making a mockery. And don't start me on TV1 and the Commonwealth Games - that was frankly embarrassing. I can't wait for the World Cup. That really short guy fronting in the studio late at night at the games was pricelessly appalling!

Jacko's back

If we thought it was just the Southland Maroon Peril flogging our players, we were wrong. ``Jacko'', the North Otago boss, has just discovered it is cheaper to pay petrol vouchers from Dunedin than fly players in from Alaska so be very afraid. A disgruntled Mika Mafi from Southern, who is being overlooked by Otago this year, is turning out for Excelsior in North Otago tomorrow apparently. The word is the migratory Josh Clark from GI could also be on his way to Maheno, the home of the flash new floodlights. Jacko has a whole new lease on life!

Other mutterings

A very grumpy and churlish Silipa Solofa who has also been overlooked by Otago, has dumped the Sharks and headed back north and has blamed his non-selection on Sharks boss Lee Piper. Now you can blame Piper for a lot of things, but Otago selection surely isn't one of them!

The Spannerheads raised $22K from the sale of their heritage day jerseys - good work lads. Big Ogre (Paul Miller), who had to give up coaching Southern this year due to a family illness, was spotted on the field for the Pirates Prem IIs at the weekend - he's hard to miss. Speaking of Pirates, ill-fated chair Stedman was at his son's under-14-15 game at the weekend and duly deposited his son in the backseat after the game.

He was stunned to see a lad from the opposition jump into a big 4WD beside him and drive away. Does this suggest a problem in the grade?

This weekend

Last again for the fourth week in a row (Scully is going broke at the Alehouse!) - to Will Boswell from the Sharks. On to GI halfback Devin Stapley but the confidence is gone! The Hawks (12-) head up to High Veldt to take on Kaik with renewed confidence and be too big up front. The Sharks (12-) are at home to GI at the Sandpit and if they don't get it done, their season could be over - enough said. The Magpies (13+) will be too big and strong for AU at home. Taieri (13+) visits Bastion Point to take on the cellar dweller and should canter to the cemetery.

The late mail

Next week the rumoured break away comp will get an airing, I promise!


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