Logan Nicholson goes on a scoring rampage

DON WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 24/04/2014

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Capable left wing Logan Nicholson, also no slug at fullback and pivot when required, was a key figure in Wrights Bush's division two wins in the second and third rounds.

Nicholson, 19, and a graduate of the Southland Rugby Academy from under-15 to under-18 last year, scored all 40 points in those wins over Pirates Old Boys and Balfour Lumsden, with a combined haul of five tries, three conversions and five penalties.

"After coaching him over the last three years, I have noticed he is starting to grow in stature and is revealing his true ability," Wrights Bush coach Brendon Hamilton said.

Nicholson is furthering a remarkable family involvement with the Wrights Bush club over the past few years.

His father, Paul Nicholson, a Southland Times Legend of Sport, was a driving force in that revival and is manager of the club's senior team.

Paul Nicholson's contribution has been inestimable, no matter what has had to be attended to, including sourcing funding and sponsorship, cleaning and ground preparation, playing kits and general organisation.

He is widely known as the face of the Wrights Bush club, which produced Southland All Black flanker Leicester Rutledge.

Hayden, Logan's brother and the team's other wing, is the club captain of the revived body that has prospered from a close knit community contribution. Its sponsors and followers are loyal to a man and always turn out in numbers for home games.

The Nicholson family had done more than any in firing up Wrights Bush's club unity, Hamilton said.

"In a personal sense, I would like to commend the club for funding me to the New Zealand Rugby Academy in Palmerston North that was attended by coaches from all over the world, including two from Southland's Northern Barbarians and one from Pioneer in Gore."

Hamilton added that he was privileged to coach 27 players with at least 20 at training runs which was "very encouraging for any coach."

Wrights Bush was looking forward to its important Hamilton Shield clash with Midlands at Winton on Saturday, he said.

If Logan Nicholson was an early standout of the division two competition, then new Marist coach Nathan Burgess was hard on his heels with his team unbeaten in three outings, edging out Collegiate and Albion Excelsior at the top of the points table on differential.

Marist might have prospered from the odd easy game, but seems well equipped to make a further impression under Burgess' guidance.

Marist is away to Woodlands on Saturday.

Arguably, the Riverton clash with unbeaten visitors Albion Excelsior might appeal as the most interesting this Saturday.

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Always a handful on their home ground, Riverton will have to pull out all the stops to match Albion Excelsior, who might be down in numbers but high in morale and determination.

The newly merged Central-Star club is taking its time to find its feet and will derive benefit from hosting capable Invercargill visitors Blues, who are not far off the pace when able to field their best team.

- The Southland Times

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