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.
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.