Aleki Morris-Lome

Featured Photo – Aleki Morris-Lome

Today’s feature is of Otago and Harbour centre Aleki Morris-Lome. The former Bayfield and Otago Boys’ High School pupil who started his first-class career playing for Southland (having played 17 games for the Stags) has been a regular feature of the Otago backline this year and has set-up many opportunities for the players outside him.

Otago v Manawatu (30.09.19)Aleki Morris of Otago looks for support during the Mitre 10 Cup match between Otago and Manawatu played for the Ranfurly Shield at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, on Friday 30th August, 2019.

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The Style of Kilistina Moata’ane

The Otago Spirit have been in great form so far this season and are currently unbeaten. With so many players staring for the side it’s impossible to single out one player above the rest. However, back Kilistina Moata’ane seems to keep popping up in the camera lens breaking tackles, throwing passes and scoring tries so I thought a wee photo feature was in order.

Featured Photo – Kilistina Moata’ane Superstylin

Otago Spirit midfield back Kilistina Moata’ane breaks free of a tackle to score in the early stages of the Farah Palmer Cup match against Taranaki.

Otago Spirit v Taranaki Whio (08.09.19)
Kilistina Moata’ane in action for the Otago Spirit against Taranaki recently.

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James Arscott Debut

Making a provincial debut is always an important milestone for any player in their career, so it’s important we recognise that milestone for James Arscott. While the main talking point from Saturday’s Ranfurly Shield match was Canterbury taking the shield back to Christchurch, it can’t be forgotten that in his first year out of high school, James Arscott came on to make his debut for Otago in the dying stages of the match.

Featured Photo – James Arscott On Debut For Otago

James Arscott of Otago clears a ruck as Otago attack near the Canterbury line during the Mitre 10 Cup match between Otago and Canterbury played for the Ranfurly Shield at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, on Saturday 5th October, 2019.

Otago v Canterbury (05.10.19)James Arscott on debut for Otago

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High Flying Spirit

It seems the Otago Spirit are having a vintage season with wins over Taranaki, Northland, Tasman, North Harbour and Hawke’s Bay. Not only have they been winning, they’ve been playing some fantastic rugby and are great to watch at the moment. Unfortunately the Farah Palmer Cup  table details at is sadly lacking in updated information or finals details which is disappointing however no doubt the Spirit will be playing their finals footy here in Dunedin.

If you want to follow their progress you can find them on facebook: @OtagoSpirit

Featured Photo – The Spirit

Otago and Otago Spirit 2019 Season Launch
The official Otago Spirit squad for the 2019 Farah Palmer Cup after being named at Vault 21 in Dunedin earlier this year.

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Canterbury Take Shield From Otago

Shield On The Move

Canterbury have won the Ranfurly Shield from Otago with a 35 – 25 win at Forsyth Barr Stadium this evening.

The win under the roof in Dunedin not only gave the Canterbury team some much needed Mitre 10 Cup points but also the prize of the Ranfurly Shield to take home to Christchurch.

At the end of 80 minutes, when Otago captain Michael Collins handed over the shield to Canterbury’s Luke Whitelock it marked the end of Otago’s sixth reign with the shield which included wins over Thames Valley, North Otago, Southland, Manawatu, Taranaki and Waikato.

In keeping with Shield tradition, Canterbury reserve hooker Sebastian Siataga will be entrusted with looking after the Shield on it’s trip back to Christcurch where Canterbury’s first defence will be against North Harbour played at Orangetheory Stadium, on Sunday 13th October, 2019 at 4:35pm. 

Otago v Canterbury (05.10.19)
A jubilant Canterbury side with the Ranfurly Shield after Canterbury defeated Otago 35 – 25 this evening in Dunedin.

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Paul Grant

It’s hard to believe that this match was in 2016. I thought it was no later than 2017 but it shows how quickly seasons can pass especially in the Mitre 10 Cup which has such a short window. On this occasion Otago defeated Tasman 30 – 27 which included this try by Otago No 8 Paul Grant.

Otago v Tasman (Mitre 10 Cup)

Otago v Tasman (Mitre 10 Cup)Paul Grant of Otago juggles the ball before scoring during the Mitre 10 cup match between Otago and Tasman played at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. Saturday 10th September, 2016.

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2018 Throwback

The Last Home Game

With Otago’s last home game of the season coming up on Saturday and the shield on the line, I thought a throwback to the 2018 clash between Otago and Canterbury would be appropriate. On that occasion Canterbury were victorious 47 – 25. However, 12 months on and with Otago looking to lock the shield up for the summer a tight and intense match is on the cards.

Mitre 10 Cup: Otago v Canterbury (22.09.18)Stephen from Dunedin

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Shield Stays In Otago

Otago defeat Waikato

The Ranfurly Shield will be staying in the south for at least another 7 days with Otago beating Waikato at Forsyth Barr Stadium this afternoon.

In Otago’s sixth successful defence of the Shield in it’s current reign, the holders went into half time with a 20 – 14 lead over  Waikato after opening a 20 – nil lead, before two late tries in the first half brought Waikato back to within 6 points of the holders.

Early points in the second half to Otago’s Aleki Morris-Lome extended Otago’s lead before Waikato came back at the holders once again to close the gap.  The tries continued from both sides throughout the half with Otago running out 45 – 35 winners when the final whistle sounded.

Otago’s next defence of the Ranfurly Shield will be against Canterbury on Saturday, 5th October.

Otago v Waikato (29.09.19)
Vilimoni Koroi breaks through a gap during the Mitre 10 Cup match between Otago and Waikato played for the Ranfurly Shield at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, on Sunday 29th September, 2019.

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The Thomson Files

Back In Blue And Gold

Prior to this year, the last time I photographed Adam Thomson was back in 2010 on a fine Saturday afternoon at Carisbrook. On that occasion he played a major role in his University A side’s victory over Kaikorai in the club semi final. That year, University went on to win the banner and Adam Thomson went on to play 29-test for the All Blacks.

The years following the 2010 season saw Thomson win a World Cup in 2011 with the All Blacks, play two seasons in Japan for the Canon Eagles, return to Super Rugby with the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels and then return to Japan and the Canon Eagles before lumbar discitis put him in hospital for two months. After a long recovery, a planned trip to play rugby in the United States was curtailed due to visa issues which saw him  eventually play for Takapuna in the North Harbour competition earlier this year.

Having first made his debut for Otago in 2004, Thomson (37) now finds himself back in the blue and gold of Otago, defending the Ranfurly Shield under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium and adding to his 54 Otago caps.

Note: Adam Thomson has been named to start at No 6 for Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup and Ranfurly Shield match against Waikato played at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow.

Bookmark the gallery for the Otago v Waikato (29.09.19) match right here.

Otago v Southland (17.08.19)
Otago’s Adam Thomson after the Mitre 10 Cup match between Otago and Southland played for the Ranfurly Shield at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, on Saturday 17th August, 2019.

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Victory Over Southland

Images From The Shield Defence

So that’s three shield defences tucked away for the Blue n Gold side in the 2019 season. The victory over Southland ensures the Shield stays at Forsyth Barr Stadium with the next challenge coming from Manawatu on Friday, 30th August. Before then however, Otago travels to Napier to  take on Hawkes Bay on Thursday night with a 7:35pm kick off.

Here’s a few more from Saturday’s 41 to 22 victory to relive one more time.

Otago v Southland (17.08.19)
Josh Dickson of Otago celebrates scoring in the second half from a forward drive during the Mitre 10 Cup match for the Ranfurly Shield against Southland at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

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