Dwyer's take: Final shows game in good heart

Dunedin halfback Tim Hogan is tackled by Kaikorai flanker Zackary Cleaver-Donovan in their...
Dunedin halfback Tim Hogan is tackled by Kaikorai flanker Zackary Cleaver-Donovan in their premier club rugby semifinal last month. The Dunedin club gets Paul Dwyer’s highest report card rating for the season. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The wrap

Who said rugby is dying? I estimate 4000 turned up at Bathgate on Saturday to witness the club final between Southern and Dunedin. Admittedly viewing conditions weren’t great with spectators five or six deep round the full circumference of the ground. Yes, it was a bit of a bog but it was an enthralling game and Southern, who took the right options, came away with a deserved 10-point win. Conversely the Sharks played some dumb rugby at times and the Magpies were smart enough to capitalise and win their second successive banner.


Don’t forget

There is still some rugby to be played. The junior colts semis are on this week. The two Dunedin sides, the Tigers and the Bulls, are playing one semi at Shark Park at 11am tomorrow and Kaik are playing Harbour in the other semi at 11.15am up on the High Veldt. Get along if you can.


Other results

"Big Crawf", the Kaik Prem II coach, finally got a title after eight attempts and coming up second every time. They beat Taieri in the 87th minute with a penalty to nail it. Congrats mate. Think about this: assistant coach Johnny Faulks’ son Mac has played seven finals in the last seven years for Kaik in either colts or P2s and has lost the lot! He played in the final and that was just to prove Kaik aren’t always "chokers". Their seniors also won the final over GI to keep them in the hunt for the "Ainge". Dunedin won the prem colts final for the fifth straight year and Kaik, who were the unlucky losers, have gone down in three of the last four of those. The Makos are now unbeaten for over two years.


The 70s reunion

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Billy Somerville and Lyn Jaffray were putting a reunion together for 1970s Otago players and I questioned whether it would come to fruition and unbelievably it has. There are 60-odd turning up next Friday night at the longroom at Varsity, followed by a luncheon the next day. Then they are guests of Otago rugby for a game against Wellington. I think Billy and Lyn have done the talking and Rob Roy and Paul Allison have done the heavy lifting. They were both backs after all. The six centurions still alive from the 70s will be in attendance: Rob Roy, Lozza Mains, Grizz Graham, Merv Jaffray, Dunc Robertson and Lindsay Clarke. Enjoy lads, and if you see them at the game go up and say "gidday".


The Ainge Shield

The joint holders of the Ainge Shield, Dunedin and Kaik, are at it again for the bragging rights this year. Kaik are just ahead at this stage but both clubs are in junior colts playoffs and the results of that final next week will decide where the trophy sits over the summer. I’m picking it could be shared again.


Last bits

Hame Toma played No 8 for the Sharks in the final at the weekend and unbelievably his younger brother, Moeki, played No 8 for Marist Albion in the Christchurch club final at the same time — pity only one of them was a winner! Remember the player of the year function is on at Green Island on Thursday, August 17 — get along!


The dreaded report card

There is some science to this, although it gets a bit clouded. I look at playing numbers, the positions their teams finish, and club health in terms of supporter base in the clubrooms.


Had six teams this year, four men’s teams and two women’s team. Prems finished second last, P2s finished last, seniors bottom five, junior colts made playoffs, and the highlight was the prem women winning. Club numbers only OK but had a successful 150th. — C-


Had eight teams this year, making them the biggest club. Prems finished second, P2s made playoffs, seniors in bottom half, prem colts winners, prem women second, two of the three junior colts teams in semis. Club numbers strong. — A-

Green Island

Had four teams this year. Prem team fifth, P2s semifinalists, seniors second, and junior colts bottom half of table. Club members very strong. — C+


Started with four teams but prem colts canned early — so three. Prem team sixth, P2s bottom half of table, and junior colts semifinalists. Club numbers so-so. — D


Seven teams this year. Prems finished third, P2s won, seniors won, prem colts second, two junior colts teams in playoffs, one in semifinals. Women’s development won. Crowd numbers very good. — B+


Only three teams this year. Prems winners, P2s last, prem colts last. Crowd numbers need serious work. — B-


Down to four teams this year. Prems fourth, P2s finalists, prem colts in semis, junior colts also-rans. Crowd numbers unbelievable. — C+


Had five teams this year. Prems seventh, P2s were in playoffs, prem colts were down the bottom along with junior colts, prem women made playoffs. Crowd numbers non-existent. — C


Had four teams this year. Prems last, P2s mid-table, seniors also-rans, prem colts semifinalists. Crowd numbers OK. — C

So that’s it for the year — hope you’ve enjoyed it, or at least tolerated it.

Enjoy test weekend and we’ll do it all again next year.