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The MAQ’s (Kaik) did enough at the high veldt to put away Varsity and join IT in third on 11 points and well on track for the six. In the Battle of the Saddle, GI squeaked home to beat Taieri at the Eelpit for the second time in five weeks to join the Dunedin Sharks on top with 15 points. Southern finally got the “W” with a vengeance and put 70 on Zingers at the Cemetery. AU put a damper on the Sharks’ 150th celebrations with a last gasp but deserved victory to win its first game in the Gallaway. GI and Dunedin look good to make the six as 20 points should get you there.
The only team that looks out of it is Zingers but it’s still a tall order for Southern and AU who only have five and six points respectively.
NZ’s oldest club wrap
The Dunedin Sharks celebrated their 150th at the weekend and most of their seven senior teams won, but their prems and seniors ensured there would be no Shark attack. They probably had 500 in the clubrooms on Saturday night and the place was humming. The “heavies” at Speight’s, word has it, gave the Sharks an estimate of how much they would need to supply and the rumour was they were re-stocking before 6pm on Saturday — surely not!
They named a team of the last 50 years and a special set of jerseys were used in the Prem game that had every player in the last 25 years stitched into the jersey. They were auctioned on Friday night and a few might have got carried away and bid slightly too much!
There were a lot of lies told, a couple of arguments, some unexplained absences but it was an event that not many will forget. AU are up next year and I hope their celebrations go as well.
Refs fundraiser and a challenge
We’ve already gone big in this column on getting more volunteers to take up the whistle and boost ref numbers. The boys at Eastern had already checked their numbers to see if they could get refs from Waikouaiti but struck out.
So they have done the next best thing and are having a fundraiser for the refs next Saturday night kicking off about 6pm. It’s only $10 to get in and all the refs will be on hand. Get along if you can, it’ll be a great night. Nick Terry from Eastern will give me a total of what is raised and we’ll put a challenge out to clubs to match it.
Wrapping other grades
In Prem 2s, Kaik is the only unbeaten side and is eight points clear in the comp. There are four other contenders on show in GI, Taieri, Dunedin and Eastern.
In women's it will be “same old”, with the perennial finalists — Pirates and Varsity — fighting it out for the title.
In Prem Colts, Dunedin and Kaik lead, with Taieri close up and a gap to Southern and Harbour. GI is unbeaten in Senior, with Southern, Kaik, West Taieri and Zingari battling out the minors.
In Junior Colts, the two Kaik sides are first and second, with the Undertakers unbeaten. The two Dunedin sides (the Bulls and Tigers), along with Upper Clutha, are battling for the other two spots in the four. The Ainge trophy based on this looks like Kaik’s to lose.
Speaking of longevity in the game, Eastern’s Wayne Hagan is still playing and coaching the Eastern senior side at the age of 47. He’s been playing for Eastern since he was 5 years old. He was a former prem player for the club. He represented Otago at Colts level. A monumental effort to be still playing — good on ya, mate.
Southern stalwart Ian Stevens turned 91 recently and was honoured at the Magpies Club because he has been a member for 75 years — not a bad innings!
Jack O’Dea, from the Sharks, hardly troubled the scorers last week so hopefully more of a challenge from Billy Somerville from Southern this weekend. AU, after their big win over the Sharks, should go close at home but the MAQs (12-) just. The Spannerheads (13+) will be too strong for Zingers at the Toolbox and will remain unbeaten. The Sharks (12-) need to bounce back at Bog Bathgate when they take on the Magpies for the Ron Reggett — it is nearly too close to call. Varsity (12-) is desperate for a win, just as Harbour is, but the Bookworms just.
Got destroyed by Patrick Scanlan from Toko last week so back on the horse against Simon Spark, from Arrowtown, so it will be tough. There is nothing Sparky doesn’t know about Central Rugby. Wakatip (13+) too strong for the Cavaliers away. Upper Clutha (13+) at home will be too classy for Alex. The Goats (13+) are away to the Maggots but Goats eat Maggots don’t they? The Bulls (13+) are at home to Matak and should bag the five-pointer.