OPINION: I can testify I am no longer a lone voice when it comes to rugby players' socks being down and out.
My comrade is Graeme Fraser, former Massey University professor and rugby coach.
He was way ahead of his time because back in the 1980s and 90s, when he and Chris Collins were coaching the crack Massey Colts teams, they instituted a code of conduct for the team.
They had plenty of players to choose from and had such stars as Lee Stensness, later to be an All Black.
Fraser carried a bit of weight at the time because he was the assistant vice chancellor.
And scarfies could be rather feral, especially those on recent release from the home front.
All of the players signed the code of conduct because they knew there were plenty of good ones ready to take their places. They had to write their names and their student numbers, agree to wear their socks up with garters and to stay off the turps on Friday nights.
Fraser and Collins agreed that players had to not only look the part, but be proud of their team and colours.
He even hunted around town for blue-and-white scarves to go with the students' nickname. The Manawatu Knitting Mills did him proud and the players wore them when they turned up for matches.
Of course it was also a shrewd ploy to be in the opposition team's faces and intimidate.
One Friday night, Fraser happened to wander into the student watering hole and noticed bobbing of heads when he was spotted. It was some of his colts crew and there was much bleating the next day when he dropped them for breach of contract.
The team won without them that day.
So, it can be done with a strong hand. One day the New Zealand Rugby Union might receive a quiet call from a German company saying the players have put them in breach of contract because the striped adidas logo is not visible on the socks of players like the Franks brothers.
■ There was an aberration at the LawnMaster Classic golf last week.
In the field of 15 women's players, there wasn't a single South Korean and that's unusual in these days where Asian golfers are starting to rule.
Korean women have swamped world golf at all levels and on the big tour in the United States there are 43 of them. And our Lydia Ko is not even there yet.
So it was no surprise to see that of the 24 women who played the NZ Open qualifying at Christchurch on Monday, an astonishing 17 were Koreans.
While on the LawnMaster, one of the Steelfort company's lawn-mowers was put on display, but in the clubhouse.
In 2009, when Toro sponsored the national interprovincial at Hokowhitu, some of their expensive mowers were placed outside on display and afterwards necrotic defalcators snuck in and stole the lot from a locked shed. As far as anyone knows, they have never been recovered.
The LawnMaster mower wasn't nicked, nor was it claimed for a hole in one on the par 3 11th hole.
Meanwhile, it was so tinny to get five consecutive days of hot, almost calm weather last week, the best run they've ever had. During the 2009 interprovincial it rained all week. And, as if on cue, with sports fields everywhere parched after the big hot, the torrents arrived.
That massive clap of thunder on Monday night obviously farewelled the high summer besides almost blowing the roof off every house in Palmerston North. It was one heck of a sound-and-light show, a lightning bolt hit our neighbour's house and our son, who was marooned at the front door at that time, came in with singed arms. Scary stuff. Maybe it was Gareth Morgan at work, scaring our cats.
- Manawatu Standard
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