Rugby Chat: Updates from Dunedin club rugby


Dunedin club rugby continues today and ODT Rugby Chat is providing live updates from the games.

Paul Dwyer will be a doing a video preview ahead of today's matches after 2pm and updates at half-time and after the full-time whistle. 

 

 

Today's matches.
Today's matches.

 

Harbour getting on with job

Southern winger Riku Kitahara takes the ball watched by University A winger Jermaine Pepe at...
Southern winger Riku Kitahara takes the ball watched by University A winger Jermaine Pepe at Bathgate Park last Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Harbour has had plenty of changes just two weeks into the season but it is simply getting on with the job.

The side opened with a loss to Southern but bounced back last week to beat Green Island at Miller Park. It will take on Taieri at Watson Park today.

The team lost some players during the Covid-19 restrictions and has also been hit by injury. Big prop Saula Ma’u is gone for the season with a shoulder problem.

The team was bolstered last week with the inclusion of Hawke’s Bay hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes, who has played for New Zealand Schools and also captained the New Zealand under-20 team last year.

He was training with the Highlanders to cover for Ricky Jackson, who was coming back from injury, but was expected to head north this week.

Fellow hooker Austin Atiga has broken his wrist while Sekonaia Pole has signed with NTT Communications in Japan.

The Highlanders had brought down lock Geoff Cridge who was expected to play last week but he went back up north and did not play. Fellow Hawke’s Bay lock Tom Parsons has joined the franchise.

Coach Ryan Nicholas said the side has had to adjust to the changes and it was glad to get a win last weekend against Green Island.

"In this shortened season, we just really have to hit the ground running and get as many wins as possible and make sure we are in the play-offs," he said.

One bonus for the side was getting the experienced Logan Allen back in the team. He returned to New Zealand just before the lockdown after living in Brisbane. He was in Matamata but received a job offer in Dunedin and headed south.

Nicholas said Allen’s experience helped the young players around him and his big boot was vital. Harbour also has young halfback Nathan Hastie in the squad.

He is being used off the bench as he adjusts to premier rugby and returns from a serious knee injury. He had been playing for Harbour colts.

Nicholas is enjoying the coaching role and, although he has had coaching offers from Japan where he played for 13 years, he wanted to stay in New Zealand.

He wants to develop his coaching and is getting a mobile laser tag business off the ground. He coached Otago under-18 to a South Island title last season.

Enjoying life and being comfortable in everything he does is key for Nicholas and his family. That was his attitude even before lockdown, he said.

Comments

Paul Dwyer amazing work. Thanks for the great reporting

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