Dwyer: Proof any top six team can beat any other

The premier club rugby match between Zingari and Greenisland at Monticello last Saturday. PHOTO:...
The premier club rugby match between Zingari and Greenisland at Monticello last Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The wrap

The Zingers boys couldn’t get it done for "Belly" in his 300th as GI just had a bit much class with Hurley out the back and their strong scrum up front. But remember it’s "only the game".

Southern cut a swathe through AU, scoring 14 tries in the process to put another arrow into AU hearts. On the plus side for the "Ponies" is they are competing with gusto in some other grades, especially prem colts and prem women’s.

It’s hard to beat Harbour on a terrible day at Port, as Varsity found out much to their chagrin. The Harbour boys took Varsity on up front and did enough to storm to 11 points on the table. I’m still not sure they can make the mythical six.

Out at the sandpit, Dunedin prevailed over Kaik in a bruising defensive encounter played in a "force nine" gale. The Dunedin pack proved to be a tad better, especially in the tight. One thing we did prove is that all the teams in the "six" can beat each other on any given day.


Down on the farm

Well, it’s King’s Birthday, so they feel no need to play rugby in the North – really! They only play six or seven games for the season now, so surely they don’t need a day off? Jacko, we need a please explain. Rugby is off in South and Central Otago, but at least they have an excuse: the Topp Cup is on at Toko, which proves who has bragging rights between the two comps.

Finally, the Otago Country board has seen some sense and moved it back to its traditional spot — perhaps the provinces could take some "learnings" from this logical decision.

I see Central have rolled out the heavyweights to coach their team – Hore, Dowling and Purvis. I’d love to be at the pre match team talk! I get the feeling Ben Purvis will get little or no say in the tactics, expect the ball not to go past "No9"! I also see in their development team they’ve rolled out more luminaries to coach in Sam Anderson-Heather and Cam Rutherford. Possibly slightly more sense to reign here.

They are playing on the "Prison Lawn" at Milton, so I’ll tip South Otago to win the main game and Central Otago to win the development game. Get along if you can, as the big game is on at 3pm, but make sure you have a "get out of jail free card".



It’s Blues’ 150th in Invercargill this weekend and it’s the only game in town as they take on Star. Can anyone tell me if Blues are still the most hated club down in the Gumboot? They have certainly been the most successful, from memory they’ve won the "Galbraith" more than 30 times. That always attracts a bit of envy!

As we know, clubs can’t count to 150 in Dunedin, so four clubs are having their 140ths this weekend: GI, Varsity, Southern and Harbour. The first three mentioned are all playing at home, which is what you’d expect. For some reason, Harbour is playing at Kaik! Can anybody tell me why? Can we have a "please explain" from the CRC or did Harbour request to play away from home?

Anyway I digress. Congratulations to all five clubs on reaching the milestones.


Other grades

In the P2s grade it’s too close to call. Zingers lead from Varsity and Dunedin but GI and Kaik, who have played fewer games, are also right there. This is a truly competitive grade at this stage of the season.

In prem colts the Dunedin Mako are out in front from Kaik, Varsity and Zingers. This looks like the top four. In prem women’s, AU lead from Clutha, with Dunedin a distant third. These three will fight out the finals.

In open grade it doesn’t get any closer, with Kaik, Taieri and GI equal at the top and Dunedin not far away. This is the tightest grade and will go down to the wire.

In junior colts, the Kaik Undertakers lead from the Dunedin Hammerheads, but Taieri and Harbour aren’t far behind. That could be the top four, but still plenty of rounds to go in all grades.


The older they get

The oldest touch judge in Dunedin without doubt is Dave (Piranha) Conrad, who is one of the managers of the Dunedin Mako. To keep his ageing body from totally seizing up, he runs the touch for them in most of their games.

However, on Saturday in their prem colts game against Zingers, he volunteered to keep the balls from flying into the Cemetery at Bastion Point in the Typhoon like conditions. This was a really bad option for him, as he spent the whole game in the Cemetery searching for balls. In fact, the coaching group didn’t see him for so long they thought he bought a plot and laid himself to rest!

Oh, and by the way he hits the big 65 this weekend — happy birthday big fella.


This weekend

Destroyed Dave Callon last weekend, so the confidence is at an all time high.

On to Craig Cumming this weekend, who has deserted our shores and is currently in Nottingham coaching the Blaze in the women’s T20 comp in county cricket.

GI is hosting the Eels and go in as strong favourites as they sit second in the comp. Playing at the Toolbox on their 140th weekend says GI (13+), and with their big pack will be too good for The Eels.

Supporters be aware the "Battle of the Saddle" between the Spannerheads and Taieri is being played at 2.15pm for some unfathomable reason – whatever happened to uniformity?

Kaik (13+) are up on the high veldt waiting for Harbour to come calling. Kaik will bounce back from defeat last week and get it done convincingly.

Varsity (13+), even with players away with NZU, will be too strong for AU and put last week's result behind them.

In the big game, Southern (13+) are at home to Zingari and there is not a lot of love between these two clubs currently. I think Southern will consign Zingers to a second consecutive loss to cement their position at the top of the table.