Strawbridge enjoying footy more

Finn Strawbridge is lowered by Tasman loose forward Ethan Blackadder in a Mitre 10 Cup game at...
Finn Strawbridge is lowered by Tasman loose forward Ethan Blackadder in a Mitre 10 Cup game at Forsyth Barr Stadium last year. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Finn Strawbridge knows the value of things.

And what is most important to the 24-year-old property valuer is his career.

Last year, the Green Island pivot was firmly focused on rugby. He moved south from Christchurch to play for Otago and provided back-up for first choice first five-eighth Josh Ioane.

He made two starts but otherwise watched the campaign from the bench.

The Lincoln University graduate has shifted his sights this year. In order to become registered as a property valuer, he cannot keep taking three months off each year to play representative rugby.

So he has sworn off all rep rugby. He will not be popping up at another province or in the Heartland competition.

He will be in the office, perhaps working out whether the bricks and mortar in South Dunedin are worth more than an burgeoning online presence.

"I've backed off from the more serious part of it,'' Strawbridge said.

"I didn't get offered another contract and, I thought instead of chasing a contract, I need to focus on becoming a registered valuer and put my time into work.''

Otago will need a replacement pivot. Kaikorai's Ben Miller and Harbour's Logan Allen perhaps shape as the frontrunners.

Strawbridge did not want to be drawn on who might take his spot. But he did say Miller had been playing well.

The Kaikorai first five-eighth has been taking the ball to the line hard, kicking well and passed 100 points for the season on the weekend.

Strawbridge, meanwhile, said he was "enjoying his footy more this season'' and it shows.

Green Island has been going along quite nicely with Strawbridge at the helm.

The Grizzlies' scrum came undone against University two weeks ago and again against Kaikorai at Bishopscourt in the weekend.

That proved costly but the team has been playing some adventurous rugby.

Strawbridge's passing game has been top drawer. His little pop passes caused Kaikorai many anxious moments.

Had it not been for some tenacious defence, Kaikorai could have ended up on the wrong side of the tense one-point win.

"We didn't really take our opportunities,'' Strawbridge said when asked whether the scrum and some ill discipline had cost his team victory.

"We got ourselves into good positions but could not convert.''

Green Island's expansive game plan suits its more mobile pack - at least while the grounds are still dry.

And Strawbridge has actually been able to keep up this season.

One unexpected benefit of letting the grip loosen on his rugby ambitions is he now spends more time crunching numbers than pushing tin. As a result he has shed about 5-6kg.

He is lighter on his feet and not out of breath three-quarters of the way through the game.

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