West Taieri and Green Island to meet at the stadium

West Taieri is heading for the theatre under the roof.

The side from Outram will line up against Green Island in its promotion-relegation match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on September 21.

The game will kick off at 5pm and will be the curtain-raiser to the Mitre 10 Cup match between Otago and Auckland.

The game was scheduled to be played this Saturday at the North Ground but has been moved to next Thursday.

Otago Rugby Football Union community rugby manager Richard Perkins said the game had to be moved from Saturday because the union was struggling to get enough officials to control the game.

Three of the province's leading officials - Stu Curran, Mitch Will and Jono Bredin - were in Taupo for the national under-19 tournament.

Otago's No1 referee, Adam Morrison, had gone overseas and was no longer available, he said.

That led to a lack of officials to control the game and there were also other representative matches on in the city this Saturday.

Perkins said it was important to get a high standard of refereeing for a game that had some importance for both clubs.

The clubs had agreed to the move and both teams had been training for the game for some weeks.

The two clubs, Otago Rugby Football Union and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd had come to an agreement over the leasing of the stadium for the game.

West Taieri won the right to challenge for promotion to the premier grade after it beat Kaikorai in the premier two grade final last month.

But if it beats Green Island in the game next Thursday, it will not automatically go into the premier grade.

Clubs have to meet criteria to be accepted into the grade but they can be given dispensations should they not meet all of them.

With Pirates pulling out of the premier grade this year, only nine teams played in the top grade, leaving an unwanted bye in the grade.

Logic would suggest West Taieri, if it is keen and has the player depth, would come up to the premier grade, to create 10 teams and get rid of the bye.

Pirates had wanted to get a team back into the premier grade next year, while there was also talk of a merger with Southern.


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