Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Captain Culum reaches 100 games for Steamers

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LOYAL SERVANT: Culum Retallick plays his 100th game for Bay of Plenty against North Harbour on Saturday. PHOTO/FILE
LOYAL SERVANT: Culum Retallick plays his 100th game for Bay of Plenty against North Harbour on Saturday. PHOTO/FILE

Culum Retallick will become just the 17th player to reach 100 first-class games for Bay of Plenty when he leads out the Steamers against North Harbour in Albany on Saturday afternoon.

Retallick, 31, who grew up in Canterbury and is a first cousin of All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, says he is "pretty lucky I suppose to get on the list".

"There are a lot of players who have contributed a lot to Bay of Plenty rugby so I am just grateful to get on there.

"As a rugby player you just want an opportunity and the Bay gave me an opportunity so I stuck around. I am loyal and I have really enjoyed this place and the people who are involved in it.

"I have come from a big family and with my cousins we're a pretty loyal bunch so I think it is a reflection of who I am as a person."

Retallick made his debut for Bay of Plenty against Hawke's Bay in Napier on July 13, 2007 in a 12-7 defeat.

His 50th match was a 20-13 win over Counties Manukau on July 17, 2011.

"I don't remember much about that first game but back then I was probably petrified before the game.

"I do still get pretty nervous before games and still get the excitement of game day. It means a lot to me."

Bay of Plenty Steamers head coach Clayton McMillan, who played 113 games for the union, acknowledged Retallick's loyalty and leadership.

"For Culum to reach 100 games, it is testament to his playing ability and loyalty to the jersey.

"He is an integral part of the side and has grown into a knowledgeable and well respected leader. I can't recall him ever having a bad day at the office which sums him up really.

"Nothing flashy, just hard work, sound in his core roles, makes his tackles, has high expectations of himself and demands the same from others.

"He is a great team man who has earned every cap and deserves every accolade that comes his way."

Bay of Plenty Rugby president and former All Blacks hooker Graeme Crossman says Retallick has always stood out.

"He always seems to make a good contribution every game for the Bay team and he has accepted the leadership role and is very comfortable with that.

"So along with 100 games comes that senior contribution and maturity that teams like ours need, especially as we try and draft in a lot of our younger players from our club teams."

Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO Mike Rogers says this is a rare honour.

"Over 1100 players have worn the blue and gold jersey. We are extremely proud of Culum's achievement and it will be a privilege to watch him play his 100th game.

"It will be an incredibly proud occasion for Culum, his family and the whole Bay of Plenty Rugby community.

"I know the team will be determined to make Saturday afternoon a memorable one for him."

Bay of Plenty team v North Harbour, Albany, Saturday 2.35pm

1. Aidan Ross
2. James O'Reilly
3. Pingi Tala'apitaga
4. Keepa Mewett
5. Culum Retallick ©
6. Shahn Eru
7. Hugh Blake
8. Joe Tupe
9. Ruki Tipuna
10. Dan Hollinshead
11. Regan Ware
12. Teddy Stanaway
13. Lalakai Foketi
14. Monty Ioane
15. Isaac Te Aute

Reserves:
16. Joseph Royal
17. Solomona Sakalia
18. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi
19. Jesse Parete
20. Henry Stowers
21. Luke Campbell
22. Kelly Haimona
23. Te Rangi Fraser

- Bay of Plenty Times

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