Finals day caps off great year for Southern Sharks rugby club
After a typically well behaved bus trip Southern's Division Two team arrived at the 2017 club finals day.
We knew Clifton's team was big and were expecting a David and Goliath battle. But Goliath had 35 brothers and they were all bigger than him. Their subs bench was busier than a one-legged duck.
Did this phase the Sharks? No it did not. They ripped into them and played with ferocity and precision. Damian Lord flew round the paddock like an openside flanker, Biff was his normal combative self with big Rog always a handful to try and stop. Big Mike toiled hard and did the grunt work as always. With a third of the team away chasing NRL contracts, Milky got every midfield back's dream. He got to play flanker. The backs tried hard and were creative and brave. Standout was Gareth Hughes who weighed about as much as their tightheads left leg. A loss 29-24, (D Cox, J Makea, R Graham tries; G Hughes 3 cons, pen) but one to be very proud of. Messrs Damian, Milky, Chief, Tui and Eugene – you earned a double brown no doubt.
Season review. What a start, smashed it in Club Sevens again. Three teams, two finals, magic day. Prems defend the trophy again. Women's 10's, inaugural team, strong finish, come back next season. A huge crowd for the final game with a special homecoming for one player /actress.
The club season was exhilarating, and with top four ambitions, all teams achieved that. Sharpest looking teams, best clubrooms, best supporters and coolest mascot. Add in the best weather, best fields, best changing rooms and fastest crabs. Big Sharky ups to the coaches, managers, helpers and water runners etc. Maybe not 'fatso' who kept eating all the players' lollies and Mama shark had to kick him into line. Sharky ups to Video Dee, Scoreboard Sam, Jukebox Jack and free wifi. Ups to clubroom vibe, one liners and laughter aplenty.
We had a cracker ladies day and auction night but if Hugh ever picks the crab again, he'll go down for five.
The three of us sat in the stands Sunday night trying to work out the best of the best. The two 7's finals, Sharky Women v Otorohanga, the last-minute win contenders and Saturday clean sweeps – but the winner is JK in his Mum's togs.
Sharky McSharface, Hugh Jorgan and Flinty gone South