Playing numbers challenge for Old Boys

Oamaru club rugby has its challenges.

And the first hurdle was getting 15 blokes to the game tomorrow.

Newly-minted Old Boys coach Robbie Breen expected that would be the case.

His side fronted for its opening Citizens Shield match last weekend with a bare-bones squad of 16 players.

Player numbers will be a challenge again for tomorrow’s game against Athletic Marist.

The former St Kevin’s College First XV coach knows how work commitments can get in the way of rugby at this time
of the year.

"A lot of our guys work at the freezing works which was always going to make things tough," he said.

"This week will be a similar struggle. But after that the shifts at the freezing works finish and we’ll have, I believe, nine guys become available after that, so we’ll be right for the rest of the season."

Old Boys had one reserve in last Saturday’s opener — a front-row forward. The game was allowed to go ahead but 10 minutes into the second half it lost a player to a red card. Kurow won the fixture 31-24.

"We weren’t anywhere near as organised as what we needed to be. Kurow are really showing the value of having Hayden Parker and Ben Nowell there.

"You could see that in the way they were attacking with how organised they were, whereas we were making some pretty simple mistakes."

Old Boys dominated the tournament for the majority of the last decade but has been in a rebuilding phase for the past few seasons.

Breen believes the team has "more than enough talent to win the competition".

"It is just a matter of consistency and we should be there come the end of the season," he said.


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