Go Otaaaaago

The Waitaki River has been not just a geographic boundary, it has also marked an historical, social, cultural and – at times – political division between Otago and Canterbury .

However, those of us on the right side of the Waitaki accept that those on the other side are South Islanders and we’ll back them against any but our own.

The relationship between Otago and Southland is much closer. We rarely regard each other as rivals and many of us would be hard pressed to say exactly where the boundary between the two provinces is.

The battles of one are the battles of both – as witnessed by the combined action by both provinces backed by the ODT and Southland Times to keep neurological services in Dunedin.

If either Southland or Otago was playing Canterbury, or any other team, for the Ranfurly Shield tonight we’d have no doubt about which team we wanted to win.

But as Otago prepares to challenge Southland for the shield the rivalry is friendlier. 

I say go Otaaago and Brunette is backing the boys from further south.

But while blue and gold supporters want their team to win and maroon and gold fans are right behind theirs, deep down there’s a feeling that as long as the shield stays on the right side of the Waitaki, it doesn’t really matter which team holds it.

One Response to Go Otaaaaago

  1. Gravedodger says:

    As a bystander this afternoon could I respectfully suggest the physical boundary will be precisely where the two unions have drawn the line but the tribal aspect as alluded to by HP and Brunette will be much harder to draw. It will reflect the wishes of transplanted citizens of the south as often divided loyalties in families and communities and will often hinge on whether an adopted home union has an away game with either of the two teams today to come. Such is the Mana and Legend that is “the log” and Aint it grand to see it in the heartland. How much grander if Nth Otago or Wanganui had achieved the impossible and done a Marlborough, You all know when Alan Sutherland renamed Wylies bridge on his way north so many years ago with “the Shield”, it no longer needs the name of the guv of the day in modern reference.
    Go hard both teams.
    Disclaimer I am unaware of The Red and Blacks itinarary going forward and that is symptomatic of some of the devaluation, in the realms of the more successful (in Recent years) unions who have lost that basic love of rugby at grassroots level. Here in CHCH it is all to often regarded as a brand to be marketed, sheesh aint that sooo sad.


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