Thursday, 9 July 2009

As a teenager with limited social skills you would always find me in the kitchen at parties.

And when it came to party tricks I had an equally limited repertoire. I was most proud, however, of my ability to imitate the sound of a boiling Zip. Unfortunately Zips are no longer a feature of Kiwi kitchens so my party trick has been rendered rather redundant.

The only other social skill I possessed was an ability to recite, chapter and verse, the All Blacks touring teams of 1967 (to Britain and France), 1970 (South Africa), 1972-73 (Britain, Ireland and France) and 1976 (South Africa). Which didn’t always impress the girls, which is why I was forever trailing in the wake of my good friend John Norman Philip Young, these days a prominent Invercargill solicitor (actually he was a bit of a solicitor back in those days as well, but that’s another story for another day).

Over the intervening years, my failed teenage party trick has metamorphosed into a failed adult dinner party conversation piece, although it has stood me in good stead at sports quizzes and bar-room debates with rugby heads of similar ilk.

Like any good rugby bore I’ve added to my repertoire over the years. And no more magnificent addition, I might add, than the Ranfurly Shield-winning Southland side of 1959. It’s now tattooed into my memory:

D L Ashby, R Todd, J G Allison, K F Laidlaw, W J Archer, W R Archer (captain), A J Tait, A J Soper, E A Gorton, I M Miller, D W Jack, L K Fyall, H W O’Neill, J S Borland and G G Spencer.

I’m 49 years of age. We haven’t seen the Shield in Southland in my lifetime. That’s why, 50 years on, 2009 is our year. Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream.

Otago will defeat a Wellington outfit minus Tialata, So’oialo, Weepu, Nonu, Smith and Jane in the opening round of the Air New Zealand Cup. For Otago, only Adam Thomson will be absent on All Black duties and league convert Michael Witt’s boot will see the Shield domiciled at Carisbrook for the first time since 1957.

Then Southland challenges for the Log of Wood the following Friday, August the 7th.
A glorious Robbie Robinson-inspired victory is followed by repelled challenges from Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tasman and Taranaki.

And a great reign begins!


Blogger SC said...

You've got the Otago result right but it finishes there. The Stags have the better team but the Blue and Golds will bring you to despair

Guess Who :)

24 July 2009 at 3:21 PM  

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