There will be feathers in the air once again when duck-shooting interferes with club rugby throughout the regions.

If the shambolic round played before, during or after the Easter break is mirrored in the opening weekend of the duck-shooting season early next month, rugby will again be the loser.

This chaotic period inflicted on the rugby season by a minority affects not only the players who go duck shooting but those who join a rugby club to play the game, along with referees, administrators, the media, and the rugby public.

One wonders just what would be the reaction if the local rugby union made a stand and stated that rugby would be played on Saturday, May 5. After all, the North Otago union is the official organisation that administers the sport for the benefit of all involved.


Far too many players appear to play rugby as a secondary sport and show little concern for those team-mates who would prefer to be playing footy.

The rugby challenge this week - and North Otago chief executive Colin Jackson is putting up a prize for the winner - is to find the key that opens the cupboard door behind which sits the union's broadcasting system which is virtually an historic object. It dates back to the valve days which, in most cases, have been superseded by microchips.

However it is on good authority that in preparation for the weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games recently it was leased out to weightlifters who spent time training up and down the grandstand steps. Grown men who were given the task of running the PA burst into tears and bent at the knee before collapsing after lugging the system up to the PA box.

For tomorrow's competition, leaders Old Boys will play Excelsior on Whitestone Contracting No1 at 3pm, second-placed Kurow will travel to the Maheno Domain to take on Maheno and Valley, after its first win of the season last week, will play Athletic Marist at Weston.