Voices for local rugby
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.