Dwyer: The top 4: GI, Southern, Dunedin and Kaik

Greenisland first five Caleb Williams gets passed Zingari hooker A-One Lolofie to score a try...
Greenisland first five Caleb Williams gets passed Zingari hooker A-One Lolofie to score a try during a premier club rugby match between Zingari and Green Island. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The wrap

GI have pretty much wrapped up the Gallaway Trophy and top spot in the top six with a win over second placed Southern at the weekend. Ref Neilsen was firing out the yellow cards like confetti, but the Spannerheads pack were too much for the Magpies and thus won the game.

Varsity got back on track with a bonus point win over Taieri to get within three points of fifth placed Zingari. An under-strength Kaik outfit (dreaded Saturday Varsity exams!), through the boot of centurion Ben Miller, drew with Zingers at the high veldt.

Veteran Mika Mafi from Zingers went down with a serious injury late in the game, which had to be moved to another ground to play out the last four minutes.

Dunedin put 60 plus unanswered points on AU in dreadful conditions to go third equal in the comp with Kaik.

Where to from here? GI will be the top qualifier and Southern, Dunedin and Kaik will battle out second, third and fourth spots. I’m picking the top four in order will be GI, Southern, Dunedin and Kaik.


Women’s final

The "powers that be" have really stuffed this up. The game is down to be played at 2.45pm tomorrow at Tahuna Park, thus clashing with all men’s premier rugby. The women have played at 12.45pm every week till now. What’s changed?

All Colts Rugby is on hold because of Varsity holidays, so this would have been the biggest game in town — but for some reason NO it’s not.

I tried to get the union to reconsider on Wednesday but to no avail. Apparently, if the women’s final had been played at 12.45pm the curtain raiser (the women’s prems development final) would have had to have been played at 11am. So what? An alternative could have been putting the women’s development final up at Zingari as a curtain-raiser to the prem men’s game. I’ve also just found out the AU prem development team, who were supposed to be in that final against Zingari, were disqualified for playing some prem players in the semi. So now Kaik have been drafted in and a lot of their players are off on varsity holidays. so are struggling to raise a team. You can’t script this stuff; it’s laughable, but sadly true.

Anyway, the game itself, if you didn’t work it out, is on at 2.45pm tomorrow at Tahuna Park. AU, the playing through champions, go in as overwhelming favourites as they have beaten Dunedin twice during the season.

This is the third time in three years these teams have met in the final, with honours being shared. I’m tipping Dunedin may get up as they’ve got their strongest lineup in and AU have had a couple of key injuries, including prop Eilis Doyle, who limped off in the semi. Good luck to both deserving finalists.


Speaking of women

Mel Reynolds, the longtime Dunedin Sharks medic, bought up her 500th game for the Dunedin prems two weeks ago. She did her first game as the medic for Dunedin in 1998. She started with colts at Dunedin the year before — that’s a lot of strapping.

There was a very emotional ceremony held at Dunedin a couple of weeks ago, led by former coach Ed Baker. Mel was made a life member at the club a couple of years ago — only the second woman in their history to earn it.

Her old mate, Shelley Renalson, from the Taieri Eels, was made a life member of Taieri last weekend after 20 years as the medic out there — their first female life member.

If you’re at any Otago or Highlanders game these two are in the medic cart at those games and have been forever, so give them a standing ovation if you spot them.. Instead of handing out "gongs" to retired judges and radio hosts perhaps this is where we should be looking.


You wouldn’t read about it

A little birdie tells me Tamaiti Williams, the ABs’ prop, will play club Rugby in Dunedin tomorrow — you heard it here first. Tamaiti is down here for personal reasons and the All Blacks coaches are keen for him to play and apparently contacted the Otago coach to make it happen.

Tamaiti, through Christian Lio-Willie, asked if he could play for Kaikorai and the Otago coach requested that.

The CRC — while supporting him in getting a game — understandably had serious reservations about playing for one of the top three sides against one of the bottom three sides in Taieri. It has been widely reported that Taieri have been battling in the front row all year.

The CRC suggested he play for Taieri, as the other bottom sides were playing each other. Eminently sensible I would have thought. But the higher-ups have decided, and apparently he will play for Kaik. This should have been a great story, but for me sadly tarnished.


This weekend

Lost to the "Twins" last weekend, so I’m lost for words. An absolute disgrace! On to Mayor Jules Radich this weekend, so I surely recover.

AU are at home to Harbour (13+) and unfortunately, I only see this going one way and that’s out to sea.

Varsity host GI (12-) at the Oval and while the bookies are putting out a strengthened side, I think the Spannerheads will be too strong up front and win narrowly.

Zinagri are at home to high flying Dunedin (12-) at Bastion Point. The last game between these sides was a thriller and we should see more of the same, but Dunedin may have too much class out wide.

Taieri are at home to Kaik (13+) at the Eelpit. If Kaik do have an AB in the front row God help the Eels!

Drew with Jim O’Malley from Arrow and I win all draws and on to Allan Thompson, a club stalwart and ref from Crescent, so I just win.

West Taieri (13+) will be all over Clinton like a cheap suit at the Market Garden. Clutha (13+) host the Prison Guards and it will be like a prison riot in the courtyard. Owaka (13+) will be too good for cellar dwellers Heriot. Clutha Valley (13+) will dispatch Lawrence with consummate ease.


The late mail

I heard the rumour three weeks ago but felt it wasn’t worth mentioning because no union has any money. But Southland have signed Sevu Reece and he’s not going to France! But I ask again, where is all the money coming from?