Saturday’s smiles

August 6, 2011

A rugby referee died and went to heaven. Stopped by St Peter at the gates he was told that only brave people who had performed heroic deeds and had the courage of their convictions could enter. If the ref could describe a situation in his life where he had shown these characteristics, he would be allowed in.

“Well,” said the ref, “I was reffing a match between the All Blacks and Wallabies. The ABs were 2 points ahead and just a minute to go. The Wallabies’ wing made a break, passed inside to his lock. The lock was driven on by his forwards, passed out to the flanker who ducked blind and went over in the corner. He dropped the ball before he could ground it, but the hooker grounded it. As the Wallabies were clearly the better side all game, I ruled that the flanker had dropped the ball down, not forward, and awarded the try.”

“OK, that was fairly brave of you, but I will have to check it in the book.” says Peter, and disappears to look it up. When he comes back he says “Sorry, there is no record of this. Can you help me to trace it? When did all this happen?”

The ref looked at his watch and replied “45 seconds ago.”


Final, final farewell to Carisbrook

August 6, 2011

We were at what was supposed to be the final test at Carisbrook when the – All Blacks played Wales last year.

However, Christchurch’s earthquake mounted munted Jade Stadium which gave the ‘Brook a final, final test against Fiji last month.

Rfdunedin reminded me the final inter-provincial between southern rivals, Otago and Southland will be played there today and his memories of its past brought back some of mine.

My first visits were when I was a student, standing on the terrace.

It would have been a couple of decades before I went back in the early days of the Highlanders when it was stacked full of All Blacks – Taine Randell, Jeff Matheson, Tony Brown, Marc Ellis, Josh Kronfeld . . .

There were other rugby tests and some cricket matches too.

But the highlight was watching Otago win the NPC. I think that was John Leslie’s last game for Otago and he was given the ball for the last play of the game which was a kick for a penalty.

A stadium doesn’t make a team but here’s hoping the new Forsyth Barr one creates even more good memories.

For far more informed and detailed memories, Brent Edwards recorded his for the ODT last year.


Blue & Gold with Red & Black

March 19, 2011

Matches in any sport between teams from the right side of the Waitaki and Mainlanders from the other side are different.

It’s a bit like family. We’ll support each other against anyone else but the rivalry when it’s one of us playing the other is extra keen.

The good start the Highlanders have made to the season and the Christchurch earthquake have ensured a good crowd at Carisbrook when they meet the Crusaders tonight.

I won’t go so far as to say I’ll be cheering for the red and black team, my heart will as always be with the blue and golds. But tonight more than any other time I’ve watched a team from my side of the Waitaki against another, I really won’t mind which one wins.

Tonight it’s not blue and gold against but with red and black.


39 – 18 to North Otago

October 31, 2010

The sun shone in North Otago yesterday and so did the rugby team – winning the Meads Cup by beating W(h)anganui 39 -18.


No pressure

October 30, 2010

Southland started the rugby season with the Ranfurly Shield but now it’s moved north – though thankfully not off the Mainland.

Otago hit rock bottom.

Today North Otago has the opportunity to bring a little rugby pride back to the right side of the Waitaki River when the Old Golds play W(h)anganui in the final game for the Meads Cup.

No pressure, boys, but all fingers and toes are crossed (and they’ll need to be if Keeping Stock’s assessment is correct).


North Otago won – now it’s Southland’s turn

October 9, 2010

North Otago leads the Heartland rugby race for the Meads Cup after a 21-16 win against W(h)anganui in Oamaru this afternoon.

Pleased as I am about that, I won’t be celebrating until the end of the Ranfurly Shield challenge tonight.

I’d back Canterbury against any team from the north but my first allegiance is with teams from the right side of the Waitaki River so I’m hoping Southland holds tight to the shield tonight.

UPDATE: 26-16. Ah well, at least the shield is still on the Mainland.


NZ’s 4th consecutive World Cup

September 6, 2010

The Black Ferns’ fourth consecutive win in the women’s rugby World Cup makes them one of New Zealand’s most successful sporting teams.

Just wondering why if this is called the women’s rugby world cup the other one isn’t called the men’s rugby World Cup?


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