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Where to from here?
So the Otago clubs got their desired result at the special AGM on Wednesday night and now have the ability to appoint two representatives directly on to the board, one from Dunedin and one from Country. But the work has just begun and those representatives will need to prove themselves on the board as well bringing the grassroots concerns to the table. They will be big shoes to fill! The selection process the town clubs intend to run will be robust and the best person should be found. The two biggest concerns are firstly the lack of numbers coming into the game from a junior level and what the clubs and the union are jointly going to do about it. And secondly, with the advent of professional rugby (Rapid Rugby in Asia) the disappearance of players from Dunedin ostensibly contracted by an Otago coach. So how do we keep our club competitions relevant and how do we keep pathways open for our players to play for Otago and not just be a stopping off point for a band of travelling mercenaries? The clubs are certainly looking not for governance but leadership from our board in this dilemma. That should be enough to get started!
And now there is more!
I talked last week about how poor the Rapid Rugby comp is and how is it helping the numerous players we have over in Singapore. Now word is drifting through that we have lost two more players this week in the form of Kilipati Lea from Varsity and Abraham Pole from Harbour. Where does it end?
The RSCN (Pinnacle) files
Kaik's go-to guy just won't go away. So the story goes he takes extreme pride in roping off his grounds and does so with military precision. He had just roped off the main ground the other weekend and had gone over it with a spirit level. He noticed a miscreant inside his beloved ropes so he proceeded to give him the tongue lashing of his life. The catatonic, shell-shocked miscreant finally managed to squeak out ``I'm the touch judge'' to which RSCN retorted ``Well, where's your bloody flag?". Classic Pinnacle.
The Rumour Factory
The word is AU assistant coach Sneds has already gone from that post and rumour has it he's already been spotted up Bastion Point helping Zingers. Now we know Sneds was quick in the day but even for him this is electric! News coming out of the Metro Committee is West Taieri isn't happy with the ``mean'' premier clubs playing prem players against them. Then to make matters worse the Sharks turned up with Highlander halfback Folau Fakatava stripped at the weekend and he scored the first try! Welcome to the real world, lads!
Remember that really bad speech?
Yes and we have all made one - in my case, quite a few! So I watched the Arrowtown v Maggots game at the weekend and the Arrow boys went down to a Maggots penalty in the last play of the game. Now remember it's been a tough week for Arrowtown as it lost the precious White Horse last week and then lost to previously winless Maniototo in the final seconds. It was all a bit much for captain and lock ``Big Malcolm'' in his after-match speech. His players wore it, the ref wore it, the Maggots didn't come out unscathed. Every time he tried to get out of the hole he fell straight back in. I loved it! Nothing like showing the passion on your sleeve, jersey and pants. Classic!
Took on prop Cameron Allan-McNeill, of Taieri, last week and won in a canter to remain unbeaten for the year. The points tally stands at Yours Truly (85), props (70). On to Southern's Mike Mataafa this weekend (and looking at his photo he's done some serious work!) so the lead could blow out. The Spannerheads (13+) visit Bastion Point and Zingers so their winning run will continue comfortably. Varsity, with Umaga-Jensen and Dillon Hunt back in the fold, could run up a cricket score against the Sharks (12-) but I'll foolishly predict the upset. The Hawks (12-) are at home in the Jellyfish Jar and may have the strength across the park to tip Southern over for the second week in a row. Kaik (13+) is back up at the High Veldt and, with Whetton back in the pack, could jelly the slithering Eels.
PS Ray Goodall, of Clyde, who wrote the history of The White Horse Cup, died in the past few days. He also played for Clyde the only season it ever won it. Go well, Ray.
PPS There is a rumour the Otago coach could be off at the end of this season. Tell me it isn't so?