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Well, last weekend proved one thing: I don’t know anything about club rugby and that was well and truly brought to fruition as I picked none from four in town, but in my defence I’m on fire in the country. The mighty GI Spannerheads beat the Taieri Eels for the first time in a dozen years and picked up the Speight’s Challenge Shield. It would have been a hell of a party at the Toolbox – they obviously forgot my invite! The AU Onions crushed the Southern Magpies at home to announce themselves as a contender this year and consigned a proud Southern club to fighting fellow cellar dweller the Sharks for the dreaded ‘‘spoon’’. How the mighty have fallen. Varsity tried hard against the Mountain Aqua Golds but fell four points short. The MAQs are unbeaten and lead the comp by two. Zingers have only won twice in three years but they have beaten their “bunny” the Dunedin Sharks in both those games. The sand, the storm and lightning strikes could not deter the Colours outfit, which put the woeful Sharks to the sword. As discussed, the Sharks now hold the dreaded spoon by one point from the Magpies. Don’t tell anybody, but this is their 150th year and the expectation is that they would do slightly better!
Showdown on Capitol Hill
The word on the street is that there may have been stern words exchanged between ref Brandon Hale, ref supremo and linesman Chris Hart and coach “Sneds” from Zingers in the halftime break at Bastion Point in the Zingers v GI game recently. Ref Hale has had a tough couple of weeks, as out at the Toolbox the other week he was run over by a stray welding machine. Fortunately, the latest tete-a-tete was quickly wrapped and a few apologies may have been issued early the next week. Apparently it was about scrums and I’m struggling to see what any of them know about scrums. Let’s just say it was a robust discussion about their lack of knowledge on the topic.
Are the Spanners rusting?
The GI boys are going well in Prems — they are unbeaten — but what is happening down the grades? They started out full of promise and entered a Prem Colts and Junior Colts side, but two games into the season have pulled their Prem Colts and moved that side back to Junior Colts as well. OK you may say? But the CRC match committee is less than amused as they had eight and 12 teams in the respective divisions but now have seven and 13, so two dreaded byes. Match committee head honcho Hugh Tait is ageing visibly by the day. There is bound to be a “please explain” at the next CRC meeting.
Down on the farm
So I picked Old Boys in the North to go unbeaten for the year and they lose to Kurow in game two — maybe they are not owls and can’t see in the dark, or is it just a blip? We’ll see. Everything went with form in the South and they are all duck-shooting this weekend — be very afraid if you drive through a puddle. The Goats remain unbeaten in Central and are the team to beat. They are playing their games over three days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) this week because of the swamp hen slaughter. There are massive defections in the “old firm” game in Wakatip — even the “Big Show” (the coach) is not fronting. If the game is level at any stage both teams should shake hands and walk off and re-commence in the next round.
The Ainge Shield
Thanks to Jim Sullivan (journo and broadcaster extraordinaire) from Pateroa we now know the history of the trophy and it’s my mission this year to make it the most sought-after trophy in club rugby. Haven’t got the space to give you the “Bert Ainge” back story, but it’s coming.
Got destroyed by Sandi Wheeler last weekend and the embarrassment and ignominy is a cross I must carry. On to Zingers life member Murray Collie, who can’t keep the smile off his face from last weekend, but let’s see if I can.
Harbour (12-) has renewed its passports and ventures out to the Toolbox to take on the Spannerheads. It will still be basking in the Eels victory, so Harbour just. Varsity (13+) will be too strong for a Highlander-less Zingers. AU should thrash a rudderless Dunedin (12-), but I still believe in miracles. Southern at home to Taieri and the human giant Pari Pari Parkinson is turning out for the Magpies — it should be a draw, but Taieri (12-) just.
In the country up against Alex life member of Lindsay Pratt this week. I nearly got the 100% again last week in the South, so I can’t lose! The Goats (13+) are going too well for Upper Clutha. Alex (13+) thrash the Cavs at home. In the battle of the Lake, Arrow (12+) just beats Wakatip. The Maggots (13+) all over Matak at Omakau.