Ahipara night match
Local rugby supporters were reminded to get along and support the first night game of the North Zone senior club rugby season tomorrow night at Ahipara. The Mangonui derby between Te Rarawa and Awanui will kick off at 7.35pm.
O¯ kaihau’s Shaun Haynes with Sue was the only person able to stop Northland’s most celebrated competitor, Murray Child, from blitzing the field at the Mt Manaia Sheep Dog Trial on Saturday.
Sue managed to beat Child’s Boy in the long head gaining 98 points to Boy’s 97 which just held off veteran Allen Nisbet with Pat a close third with 96.5.
Otherwise, in a round up from the event, local triallist and commentator Merv Cameron said Child showed he was, once again, head and shoulders above the rest of the chasing pack.
“It’s not often we have a competitor getting first, second and third as Murray did in the [short head and] yarding event as well as placing twice in the long head and three huntaway placings, eight placings all told. You have got to hand the kudos out. Murray and his five dogs are at their peak and are a formidable task for fellow competitors to equal let alone beat,” Cameron said. The last time he could recall anyone taking a 1-2-3 was Barney Makeke from Kohukohu at the Mangonui club trials in the 1960s.
In the hunts great Roger Davis from Tangiwahine gained a first and second in the zig zag with local Kris Sturge also placing. Cameron said the cream rose to the top at the sixth leg — and midway point — of the provincial circuit
“The sheep were very workable and so these top dogs really turned it on,” said Cameron.
Results from the Mt Manaia SDT from March 15-16 were, long head: S Haynes with Sue 98 points, 1, M Child with Boy 97, 2, A Nisbet with Pat 96.5, 3, K Whittaker with Jess 95.5, 4, M Child with Dice 94, 5; short head and yard: M Child with Dice 96.5, M Child with Nell 94, M Child with Boy 93, N Child with Harry 92.5, R Thompson with Bruce 92; zig zag hunt: R Davis with Guy 94.5, R Davis with Meg 92.75, K Sturge with George 92.5, M Child with Frank 92, M Child with Ralf 91; straight hunt: M Child with Frank 93, S McRae with Toby 92, B Wilson with Boy 91.5, T Comins with Tote 91, C Lugtigheid with Tara 90.
A belated report from the previous leg of the series at Rodney over the weekend of March 9 and 10 had Steven Osborne with Pip from Avoca top the long head with 90 points with Ken Whittaker’s Jess, while over on the short head and yard course, the form dog Spot of Mike Moody [as profiled in last Thursday’s edition] held off Merv Cameron’s Clyde and Colin Jays Flick
Elsewhere, Craig Lugtigheid’s experienced bitch Tara led the way in the zig zag hunt and placed in the straight hunt with that event won by Kris Sturge from O¯ kaihau with Fern. Also notable was Claire Thomson who was congratulated by Cameron for her Mirri gaining enough qualifying points to make the nationals by placing twice in hunt events. Cameron noted conditions were a major factor at Rodney.
“The huge long head course with its long grass and rugged contour really tested those competing and once the rain set in, it was nigh on impossible to see what was happening at the top. Not only hard for the competitors and dogs, one also had to feel sorry for the workers putting the sheep on the mark, a bloody hard job!”
Cameron said the Rodney club put an SOS out for help which the O¯ mamari club answered by sending six workers in to assist and this was greatly appreciated by all involved.
The conditions also meant judge Pete Campbell had a tough job actually seeing what was happening at times, “but in typical spirit, never complained”.
Results were, long head: S Osborne with Pip 1, K Whittaker with Jess 2, K Whittaker with Sam 3, M Moody with Spot 4, A Ross with Pip 5; short head and yard: M Moody with Spot 1, M Cameron with Clyde 2, C Jay with Flick 3, K Whittaker with Jess 4, K Sturge with Flake 5; zig zag hunt: C Lugtigheid with Tara 1, S Osborne with Tahi 2, K Whittaker with Barb 3, C Thomson with Mirri 4, B Wilson with Boy 5; straight hunt: K Sturge with Fern 1, C Thomson with Mirri 2, M Southee with Cruize 3, C Lugtigheid with Tara 4, B Wilson with Boy 5.
■ The next trial, leg 7/12, is at Hobson from tomorrow and Saturday, March 22-23, where good entries are expected. After that come O¯ tamatea March 30-31, Broadwood from April 5-6, Molesworth April 12-13, Maungakaramea from April 27-28, and Mangonui (at Landcorp Rangiputa) May 3-4.