Voices for lo­cal rugby

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - KEL­LEY TAN­TAU

For Jake O’Fla­herty and Bradley Richardson, com­men­tat­ing is as easy as tak­ing candy from a baby.

The Year 13 stu­dents from St John’s Col­lege, Hamil­ton, have been com­men­tat­ing Heart­land rugby matches for Sky TV.

Their knack for us­ing sim­i­les and their child­hood bond pro­vides en­ter­tain­ing lis­ten­ing from the duo.

Their fi­nal match will be this Satur­day in Te Aroha, com­men­tat­ing Thames Val­ley vs Poverty Bay.

They have pre­vi­ously com­men­tated Thames Val­ley matches against Buller, Whanganui and Mid-Can­ter­bury.

‘‘We have a dis­tinct style of com­men­tary. We like a lot of sim­i­les so we were a bit ner­vous go­ing into it the first time, es­pe­cially it be­ing on Sky, you want to make sure it’s right to get your­self in good stead for the rest of them,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘It’s an ever-re­volv­ing door of sim­i­les.’’ ‘‘We write maybe two of them down, and the rest come nat­u­rally,’’ O’Fla­herty added.

‘‘There’s al­ways go­ing to be peo­ple who don’t like it, and we’ve found that, but we were told by the pro­ducer to not try and be any­one else, just be who we are.

‘‘We want to por­tray our per­son­al­i­ties, and that is a way we can do it.’’

O’Fla­herty and Richardson have ex­pe­ri­ence in play­ing the sport them­selves. O’Fla­herty is also a ref­eree for Waikato pre­mier rugby.

Both are from Mor­rinsville, and met in pri­mary school play­ing rugby against one another.

They both will study Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at AUT when they fin­ish high school.

For O’Fla­herty, the dream would be to one day be part of the Sky Sport com­men­tary team, while Richardson prefers the back­ground stuff - film­mak­ing and doc­u­men­taries.

When it comes to com­men­tary, O’Fla­herty said prepa­ra­tion was key.

‘‘You’ve got to know your play­ers and their strengths.’’

‘‘A big part of that is pro­nun­ci­a­tion of names,’’ Richardson added.

They spend Fri­day night reading the team sheets, prac­tis­ing say­ing the names with mul­ti­ple syl­la­bles, they said.

Com­men­ta­tors Jake O’Fla­herty and Bradley Richardson.

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