Challenge no easier for Spannerheads

The wrap

The Hawks posted their first points of the season and ensured GI stayed winless with a solid display at the Toolbox. Doesn’t get any easier for the Spannerheads as they are up against Varsity this weekend. The Vic Kavanagh match was a titanic struggle with Southern prevailing by two to remain unbeaten. The Magpies are looking strong through the grades and are a club on the rebound. The Eels and Super Club (Kaik) played well into the night and Taieri prevailed with a penalty late to win a cliffhanger. The Sharks had too much firepower (and yes some Landers!) out wide for Zingers, but they were a competitive bunch up at the Cemetery and will get the odd win this year.

Other grades

Prem 2s is too close to call only two games in. Normally, I would make an outlandish prediction with little or no fact behind (like most of the column really!) but there are no standouts at this stage — looks an even bunch. In prem colts, only Dunedin and Southern are unbeaten so those teams will be in the top four. Varsity Blue and Kaik were beaten at the weekend by Southern and Taieri respectively so there is depth in this grade which is great news for club rugby. In the women’s grade, Varsity beats Pirates in the final — take it to the bank.

Country rugby

In the North, the big game was between Maheno and Valley and they couldn’t be split. These two sides will be in the final — take it as read! In the big game in Central, the Cromwell Goats beat Arrowtown at home on the back of a late Kane Dodds penalty to remain unbeaten and they look the goods to go all the way, although I’m sure Arrowtown and Upper Clutha would beg to differ. In the South, the West Taieri boys remain unbeaten after burying perennial winner Clutha. Is it a changing of the guard? Surely the interloper from the north doesn’t win in its first season down there after moving from the prem 2 grade in Dunners. Does this give us an indication of the actual strength of country rugby? Clutha Valley is still unbeaten as well so we’ll keep an eye on this comp.

Ripley’s believe it or not

So I labelled Kaik the Super Club in week one and it fell over in prems and prem colts the very next week. Surely the cracks aren’t festering already. The word on the street is the legendary coaching rift between Lukey and Muldrew is nothing compared to the old versus new guard at Kaik that is erupting — more on this over the next few weeks.

So I’m up at Montecillo at the weekend watching evergreen Colours flanker Chris Bell meandering around the field as he is wont to do. He spies a Dunedin player not rolling away from a ruck and impeding the ball coming out, so he immediately starts doing the soft-shoe shuffle up and down his back before he realises that rucking has been outlawed for a millennium! He quickly looks around at ref Hale and thinks ‘I could be gone here’. No obvious reaction from the ref so he carries on rucking the miscreant — unbelievable. Then for good measure the ref penalises the Dunedin player. Outstanding work.

I watched the Makos take on Varsity Gold in the early game at Varsity. Two stunning stories to report. Ref supremo Chris Hart was on the whistle and they had to sew two shirts together to get him outfitted! Secondly, colts rugby is notoriously hard work for refs to keep up with. Not when Harty is up, as there were many unexplainable scrums thrown in to keep the tempo in check! I couldn’t work out why the scrum reverted to golden oldies at halftime but ref Hart explained to me at yet another mystifying break in play the Golds prop had a party to go to at halftime — fair enough, I say.

The club captain at a certain North End club reached the end of his tether this week. The club is battling for numbers, especially in the colts grades, and he is understandably grumpy. A few clubs have now started training various colts sides in his patch rather than use their own clubs. It reached a head when a certain hoop-shirted club had their colts training at, get this, his own club’s training field and rang him to come and turn the lights on! Doubtless it will be on the agenda at the next CRC meeting!

This weekend

Beaten by the aforementioned Harty at the weekend, an indefinably embarrassing moment. On to Hamish Harvey from RD Petroleum this weekend so surely the trend is reversed. Super Club (Kaik 13+) should be too strong for Zingers on the High Veldt and will bank the five. AU hosts the Magpies but I don’t think they get it done — Southern comfortably. Varsity (12-) takes on GI. The Spannerheads are hurting, there won’t be much in it so Varsity just. The Eels (12-) slither all the way to the Albacore arena and take on Harbour. Nearly to close to call but the Eels just.

Paul.dwyer@alliedpress.co.nz

 

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