The drought is over for Marist

The Southland Times - - FRONT PAGE - LO­GAN SA­VORY

‘‘Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of the sup­port­ers.’’

It was the mes­sage Marist Rugby Club pres­i­dent Bill Dowl­ing de­liv­ered on Satur­day night af­ter the club claimed its first Gal­braith Shield South­land club rugby ti­tle since 2001 - just the sixth in the club’s his­tory.

In front of hun­dreds of vo­cal Marist sup­port­ers, they top­pled Star 26-15 at Rugby Park to claim the prized shield.

The cel­e­bra­tion party started as soon as ref­eree Kirk Rae blew the full­time whis­tle and, as of yes­ter­day evening, it was still go­ing at the Miller St clu­b­rooms as they re­flected on end­ing a 16-year drought with­out the Gal­braith Shield.

‘‘The back­ing we’ve got from ev­ery­one has been amaz­ing; it’s not just about the play­ers,’’ Dowl­ing said.

‘‘All the hard work that ev­ery­one has put in be­hind the scenes, that is what it is all about.

‘‘Like I said, don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of the sup­port we’ve got.’’

Cap­tain Scott Eade echoed those thoughts.

He said Satur­day’s win was for the club’s pas­sion­ate sup­port­ers.

‘‘It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? It was quite emo­tional at the end, just see­ing our sup­port­ers and our man­age- ment,’’ Eade said. The long wait that they’ve had for this to come to fruition is for them, words can’t re­ally de­scribe it.’’

So can Marist now go back-to-back for the first time in the club’s his­tory come 2018?

‘‘We are keep­ing our feet on the ground. We’ll have to do a bit of re­build­ing,’’ Dowl­ing said.

‘‘But [coach] Marty Smith has signed on for an­other year, which is great. The ef­fort he puts in is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing.’’

KAVINDA HERATH/STUFF 634535849

Marist cap­tain Scott Eade holds the Gal­braith Shield aloft af­ter they beat Star 26-15 in the 2017 South­land pre­mier club rugby fi­nal on Satur­day.

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