When planning began for the Rugby World Cup some people outside the centres which would host games knew there would be other opportunities for them.
One of these was Colin Jackson, CEO of the North Otago Rugby Union who organised the Waitaki Golden Oldies Rugby Festival which has brought 700 layers plus supporters from several different countries to Oamaru.
Among them is 87 year old Arthur Pacey.
To get locals into the mood, a heritage rugby game – played with rules, replica posts and field dimensions from the 1930s – took place last Friday.
The festival itself yesterday with the Bog Rocks Music Fest.
It’s continuing today with matches which will follow the Golden Oldies rules, including the one about the shorts:
- All players must strictly observe the restrictions on the tackling of players wearing coloured shorts.
- The wearing of coloured shorts does not give a player the right to tackle other players wearing shorts of the same colour.
- A player wearing red shorts may attempt to tackle players wearing club shorts if they feel confident and comfortable about doing so.
- Players wearing gold, purple or special coloured shorts may run with the ball for a total distance of 15 metres in any direction. Irrespective of the path taken, if that player is not in a position to score a try after carrying the ball a total distance of 15 metres, the ball must then be passed to a team mate wearing club shorts or red shorts only.
- Club Shorts: The normal “take to ground” tackle law applies.
- Red Shorts: Player may be “claimed and held” but not tackled. A player in red shorts who has been “claimed and held” is considered to have been tackled. That being so, this player must then immediately exercise one of the options required of any tackled player and either pass or release the ball. The opponent holding him must not prevent him from doing so.
- Gold Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.
- Purple Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.
- Special Committee Shorts: Player must not be touched or tackled nor must he tackle or attempt to tackle others.
And there’s a gala dinner tonight with former All Blacks including Sir Colin Meads, Ian Kirkpatrick and Grant Batty.
The RWC games are necessarily in bigger centres which can cope with the numbers they attract.
But the organisers of this festival have taken the RWC organisers’ exhortation to spin it wide and have run with it so smaller centres can share the fun.