Player of the Year changes

The wrap

The Sharks got up late over the Eels at the Sandpit with a last-gasp try to promising newcomer Jack (the Sweeney) Regan. Southern visited the Hawks at Cockle Point and with three late tries announced itself as a serious championship contender. The AU Ponies wandered down to Logan Park to take on the Bookworms and were in it for 60 minutes, but unfortunately the game goes for 80, thus Varsity took the spoils. Super Club (Kaik) were at home on the high veldt and the Spannerheads seized up and rusted in the second spell — does anybody stop the Super Club this year?

ODT’/Speight's Player of the Year

We’ve made some changes to the ODT/Speight's Player of the Year competition. At huge expense we’ve come up with five independent judges this year who will allocate points to each game to determine our best club player. That group of "heavies" is Dave Callon, Hayden Finch, the twins Mark (Millie) Milburn and Paul (Pod) O’Driscoll and yours truly. If you feel your players aren’t getting a fair share from the judges, make sure you remonstrate with them vociferously and if that fails, bribe them! We are also introducing the Ben Smith Medal for the most promising up and comer. Our band of merry men, with some help from Paul Galland (the Otago development king), will decide that over the course of the season.

How do we get updates?

With the massive changes due to Covid-19 in the media landscape, NZME has discontinued its Saturday afternoon "scoreboard" coverage of club rugby. But don’t panic — the ODT has come to the rescue. We will provide coverage of all games on the ODT website. Rugby Chat will preview all games live at 2.20pm. We will then give you a halftime wrap at 3.15pm and a full wrap about 4 pm. We will also constantly update the scores throughout the matches. We will have it up on the home page of, or failing that, just go to Just remember, if it’s local sport we have it!


The CRC has decided to keep the games as early as possible this year so A) it’s not dark when we finish and B) you get more time (and warmth) mixing in your local clubs. Thus the early games will get under way at 12.45pm and the late games at 2.30pm. This is putting some strain on moving refs from game to game, so we will continue to monitor this.

A true legend

The word "legend" can be bandied around by media hacks ad nauseam, but there is one guy who truly deserves that accolade. Aidan Winter is turning out for his 200th game for Arrowtown in a top-of-the-table clash with Cromwell at Jack Reid Park (in Arrowtown) this weekend. Aidan was out of Otago Boys’ High School as a second five and started his premier career in that position for Zingers. He then moved to Arrowtown and, apart from three years in Germany, has now played 200 games for his beloved "Bulls". He’s played from hooker to wing, but most of the time as a loosie. He’s the only player to play 50 games for Otago Country, and God knows how old is he now. If you’re in the "Basin", get along on Saturday and cheer on an actual living legend. Question for all: can anyone remember him actually being injured? Good on ya, mate!

Some other bits

So after all the drama last week the big match finally took place place, with St Kevin’s thumping Waitaki in a record score. The town wouldn’t have survived any more damage! I see some were blaming the media for the shenanigans — really? Most of those involved would struggle to read!

There were a couple of blow-outs in the women’s grade and one in prem colts at the weekend, but we’ll put that down to early season blues. Also welcome to the junior colts lads who kick off this weekend.

This weekend

Destroyed Mark Scully last week. On to Chris Hart (uncanny likeness with photo), the world’s best licensed victualler and since he had first pick I could go down! The Hawks (13+) will bounce back and hand the Spannerheads their second loss at their beloved Toolbox. The Magpies (12-) will be too big for the Bookworms at Bathgate and will they get the Cavanagh back. Super Club (12-) brave the trip to the Eelpit and get it done over Taieri, but it’s tough out there. The Sharks (13+) head up to Bastion Point to take on Zingers and get it done convincingly.

Late mail

I hear Piper and Lashes are in hot water over the Super Rugby player poll and coaches and players are threatening action. They are too scared now to release the most over-rated payer. Man up I say!


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