Premier 2 grade a concern but colts thriving

The Wrap

No wrap last week - not because I am the worst tipster in history but simply there was not enough space. The Hawks made it two from two in a penalty try feast over the Eels. Kaik bounced back with a win over Varsity (and consigned it to zip and two) in spite of a paucity of possession. The Magpies overcame a tenacious Zingers outfit to top the competition. The Sharks rebounded from the calamitous loss to Zingers to clip the Broncos' toenails.

Team numbers

Pirates had a bye in the Prem 2s last week and have defaulted to Green Island this weekend. The ``Heavies at Hancock'' are telling me they are touch-and-go as to starting the competition at all! A few of their players have drifted up the coast to Waikouaiti to bolster their numbers. The new GI women's team defaulted to Pirates at the weekend so that situation could be delicate as well.

The good news is colts rugby is looking OK with nine in prem colts, due to Varsity and the Sharks fronting with two sides. Junior colts has gone from six to eight teams in a week with Varsity putting a side in and Kaik now running two. Great work by those clubs.

Country calendar

North Athies defaulted last week so the alarm bells are sounding. They play Valley tomorrow and the game is being played two hours later than normal at 4.30pm in the hope they can get some players in from work.

In Central, Matak got back on the track but went down heavily to the second Cromwell side and Wakatipu and Clutha lead the comp.

In the South, Clutha just beat Owaka which is going from strength to strength. They've invited me down one weekend and I intend to take them up on it and see what their formula is - they are one of our true success stories.

I think we forget in Dunedin what rugby still means to small rural communities. It is a focal point on a Saturday. In a lot of cases farming families are isolated all week and it gives them a Saturday afternoon where they can meet and actually talk to other people. The kids can play, the adults can chat, watch and have a couple of drinks. It's vital grassroots rugby survives and it means a lot more than just rugby - here endeth the lesson.

In the deep South (gumboot country) Southland is trying a new comp with 12 premier teams, up from just six last year. The first round wasn't inspiring as the sides from last year, in most cases, thrashed the newcomers. Week two was better. No wins to the new sides but the games were more competitive.

One question, though. There is one combined side in the top six from the rural areas - the Eastern, Northern, Southern, Central Barbarians (that's a mouthful!). Why are they still in the comp now that everybody is represented? Do I need to send the Metro committee down to sort it out!

You wouldn't read....

So Queenstown's biggest mover and shaker was out boating off Kaiteriteri recently and lost track of time. He had a horse starting in Melbourne in the late afternoon and it hadn't won in two years. He realised his dilemma, raced back to shore, crashing the boat in the process. He then crashed his car into the fence back at the hacienda in his haste to make it! You guessed it, he missed the race, the horse won at astronomical odds and he didn't even get a bet on. Even the rich and famous have bad days!

Word on the street is the Abramovichs, Harbour's glamour couple, were enjoying Kaiks company at the High Veldt late into the evening after the Harbour v Kaik game. Mrs A was sitting on a table and a certain club luminary said that wasn't company policy, so you could imagine how that went down!! Really R.S.C!

This weekend

Destroyed Harty with a crushing draw last weekend so still unbeaten and on to the Dalai Lama of Mitchells Tavern, Bryan Morris. I'm starting a new picking competition in two weeks so watch this space.

The Magpies should be too strong for the Sharks (12-) on current form but in Jono Bredin we trust. The Eels (13+) should get it done over AU at the Elver Pit. I'm picking Kaik (12-) at the Toolbox over the Spannerheads but it will be tight. Harbour (13+) will make it three from three at Bastion Point over Zingers.

 - Paul Dwyer

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