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Taieri did what it does, stay in games, bore the life out of teams and get the chocolates, and consigned Harbour to its second loss in three games. Super Club (Kaik) had too much firepower for Zingers on the High Veldt, to collect its fourth bonus point in three games and believe me, they will be crucial this year. I said AU would upset a few this year and it came to pass when it comfortably accounted for previously unbeaten Southern at the Pony Pit. GI threatened early against Varsity but couldn’t maintain its defensive intensity as Varsity scored four tries either side of halftime to improve to second on the table.
How is the six shaping?
Well, I’m thinking 20 points gets you comfortably into the six so let’s work from there. This is shaping as the tightest competition in years and most games are too close to call and after three games only one team is unbeaten — Dunedin but it has only played two.
There will be no runaway winner of the Gallaway this year. It’s a real pity Otago picked its team in March (apart from a few spots) as there is some real talent on display.
Bonus points will be crucial, as I don’t see any team not suffering at least two losses. Kaik and Varsity already have seven bonus points between them and they are guaranteed to make the six. Taieri has had three tough games for two wins, so should make it. If Dunedin beats Super Club at home this week, slot it in. Southern, apart from the blip at the weekend, should squeak in. That leaves Harbour, AU, and GI fighting out sixth. The latter two go head-to-head this weekend at the Toolbox and that will answer some questions.
The year of the hunt
The word on the street from Spannerheads (GI) that this "is the year of the hunt" for them or purportedly that is the catchcry. Right now it looks like the "year of the haunted"!! The Prems are winless from three but admittedly have had a tough start drawing Kaik, Harb and Varsity in the first three.
The club has started a Prem Colts side this year for the first time in a long time but has been on the end of some lopsided scores, so it could be a long season as there is some real depth in this grade. It’s early days and GI will bounce back but there is one theory that it has more coaches than players in Prems, eight at last count — time to shape up lads!!
It’s come to my attention that Strath Taieri in the Seniors grade is unbeaten since the start of last season and could do the same this year. John Tisdall, former open side for the Sharks in the 80’s, is at the helm and rumour has it he may have donned the boots last year. When I asked at the weekend what the secret was, the prompt reply was "Bullriding". Word is that one of the stars Clint McCaughtrey from Omarama travels down every weekend by "Bull". That’s a long way he’d have to leave on a Wednesday!! But they promise me that’s the secret!!
Born and bred GI boy Matt McCutcheon (winger) played his 100th Prem game at the weekend for the Grizzlies — good on ya mate. This weekend, Charles Elton, the captain of Harbour, plays his 100th, against Zingers up at Bastion Point. He’s a good man Charles and a Speight’s rep to boot, so get up to Zingari and have one with the big fella — good on ya mate!
Word on the street is 50-year-old Matt Blair turned out for Varsity Prem 2s last weekend — stunning work. The other rumour is that Chris Burke who must nearly be 50 is turning out for them this weekend!! What is in the water at the Oval??
Destroyed Hamish Harvey from RD Petroleum last weekend and on to the Prophet of the flowing robes and hair and also the publican masquerader at Mitchells, Bryan Morris, so I back up comfortably. As of next week I’m challenging the Prem locks in town to see if they can beat me. The props were a major disappointment last year but the middle rowers assure me they are more astute. If they beat me the Ale House and Speight’s will put on a night for them. I feel the money is safe.
Super Club comes off the High Veldt and heads out to the sandpit to take on the Sharks (12-) and I’m sniffing an upset, so the Sharks get up by a fin. AU heads out to the Toolbox to take on the Spannerheads (12-) and Green Island is desperate for win, so gets it done. Harbour (13+) will roll over Zingers at Bastion Point to storm up the table. Varsity heads out to the Eelpit to take on Taieri (12-) and the Eels are like a bad smell that won’t go away — so the Eels by a whisker.
The late mail
The rift may be getting bigger at the Veldt as "Big Crawf" was seen having a beer at the Toolbox last weekend—– you heard it here first!