ORFU President’s observation

Des Smith the current President of the ORFU attended our Club on Saturday for the Cavanagh Memorial match and for the after-match that followed.
It was nice to read his comments about us in his weekly report to the rugby community:

We were blessed with a beautiful day in Dunedin on Saturday to watch sport after what had been a miserable week of weather.

The Southern Rugby Clubs Day in the Sun:
Two years ago Southern were struggling to field teams and were going through a low patch in their history. Boy oh boy have they turned things around. It is amazing what a club can do when you get the right people together who want to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. There has obviously been a great deal of strategic thinking about the future of the club and now they are putting those plans into action. They are fielding five senior teams this year with good sized squads compared with three teams last year.

On Saturday they won four trophies for the club and while three of them were by small margins the fact is that they won the games. I attended the second half of the V.G. Cavanagh Memorial Game between University and Southern at Bathgate Park, which in my view would rate right up there as the most valued trophy game in the Metropolitan Premier Competition. This game is steeped in history with father and son having ties with both clubs, with ‘Old Vic’ and ‘Young Vic’ being highly respected coaches. The University and Southern Clubs treat this game with the respect it deserves and on Saturday, a large crowd watched another classic game. Southern won the game, however University did have a penalty shot right on full time to snatch victory, missing narrowly. It was great to see Ian Stevens and Tuppy Diack at the match and in the clubrooms after the game. Both Ian and Tuppy played in the first Cavanagh Memorial game in 1959, which ended in a 12 all draw. Ian played for Southern and went onto represent Otago while Tuppy played for University and was the first player to play 100 games for Otago – a wonderful achievement.

The after-match function was extremely well organised, with credit being given to all the participating teams including the many junior teams that Southern have under their umbrella.

In Summary:
The Premiers won the V.G. Cavanagh Memorial Trophy.
The Premier Development defeated Green Island to win the Paddy Roberts Memorial Cup.
The Seniors defeated West Taieri to win the Jack Stringer Memorial Cup. Jack played for Southern and in later life moved to Outram becoming a Life Member of the West Taieri club.
The Premier Colts won narrowly over University Blue to win the Ross Mee Memorial Trophy. Many people will remember Ross as a loyal Southern man playing many games at halfback for the Southern Premiers and then unselfishly giving up his time to become an outstanding Club Captain at the University Club where his son Casey was playing for the A’s. Casey, who I was fortunate enough to manage in the Otago team in 1997, wrote a letter to Southern to celebrate the trophy. This letter was read out by Barry Stevens and was extremely well written giving us all a real insight into the passion that Ross had for both clubs.

Results from 11th July

A great day of results for the club on Saturday with all 4 trophy matches being won. It was the first time in many years we hosted 4 home games at Bathgate Park and to also host 4 trophy matches was unique. Our Raven Colts lost to Kaikorai to deny the clean sweep.
A big crowd in the Clubrooms and the social activities later in the evening made for a day (and night) to remember.

Premiers beat University 19-17 (VG Cavanagh Memorial)
Premier Dev beat Green Island 24-19 (Paddy Roberts Memorial)
Seniors beat West Taieri 57-20 (Jack Stringer Memorial)
Premier Magpie Colts beat University Blue 7-5 (Ross Mee Memorial)
Championship Ravens Colts lost to Kaikorai Cobras 29-0

ODT Report – Premier Match
Southern 19 University 17

In what was an old-fashioned arm wrestle, Southern came out on top at Bathgate Park over University to win the V.G. Cavanagh Trophy.

University led 10-5 at the break but found itself down 19-17 near the end after Southern No8 Mika Mafi scored a try as Southern pressed near the end.

The students swung back on to attack and won a penalty about 35m out. They kicked for touch, won the lineout and then won another penalty.

With time up, University first-five eighth Kody Edwards had the chance to win the game with the penalty about 20m out and 10m in from touch. But he struck it badly, it went to the left and the home team came away the victor.

The match was close throughout. Southern tried to use its big forwards but never made much progress, while University looked lively at times but made mistakes at crucial times.

Southern was gifted a try near the end of the first half as, unwisely, University tried to run the ball in its own 22m zone.

Best for University were loose forwards Sean Withy and Henry, Bell while winger Jermaine Pepe scored a nice try. Southern’s best were skipper Jermayne Maika and halfback Tala Fagasoaia.

Draw Sat 11th July

Premiers v University (VG Cavanagh Memorial) Bathgate Park 1, 2.30pm
Premier Dev v Green Island (Paddy Roberts Memorial), Bathgate Park 2, 12.45pm
Seniors v West Taieri (Jack Stringer Memorial), Bathgate Park 3, 2.30pm
Premier Magpie Colts v University Blue, Bathgate Park 1, 12.45pm
Championship Ravens Colts v Kaikorai Cobras, Bishopscourt 3, 12.45pm

Results 4th July

Premiers v Harbour, Won 29-15
Premier Dev v Taieri, Lost 29-0
Seniors v Taieri, Won 18-5
Premier Magpie Colts v Harbour, Won 27-22
Junior Ravens Colts v Kaikorai Wolves, Lost 35-0 (non competition)