Golden Oldies an opportunity grasped


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.

Loosen up and prepare to party


Listen up and loosen up New Zealand.

It’s time to stop whinging about the Rugby World Cup.

You don’t have to understand or even enjoy the sport because it’s not just about the games.

It’s a party, we’re the hosts, we’ve invited visitors, and good manners require us to make them welcome.

We should be doing everything we can to ensure they have a good time and how can we do that if we’re not having a good time too?

Lots of people and communities are doing their best in spite of the doomsayers.

A wee cafe in Riverton has a notice on its wall inviting locals to get into the spirit for the Scottish visitors they’re expecting when Colac Bay hosts its first rugby international against Scotland supporters.

Oamaru is hosting a Golden Oldies tournament. It opens with the Bog Rock Music Fest featuring The Feelers,  The Beat Girls, X Factor, The Black Velvet Band and the Winner of The Classic Hits Idol Competition.

The Real New Zealand Festival has dozens of  other events that celebrate our art, culture, food and wine, history, sport and everything else we love about our country.

The sponsors have mucked up but that’s no excuse for the rest of us to be negative.

Still not convinced? Then read how Half Pie learned to stop worrying and enjoy the RWC.

When you’ve done that, take a deep breath, accept it’s our party and it will be so much better if we all lighten up and enjoy it.

%d bloggers like this: