Shoot, Edit, File & Repeat

Spartan Over 35 Final

I quite enjoy shooting in the rain, it makes for interesting results. Plus you have to work harder for your shots so there’s a sense of satisfaction if you grab a quality image. I’ve certainly found a few surprises on the SD card after working in the rain that I’ve been very happy with. But, I’ve also had my share of wet weather days when it all seemed a waste of time! The other dynamic when shooting in the rain is that fact that it is just harder and more fiddly.

Fortunately none of this applied on Saturday. When it’s wet you have to keep everything dry along with yourself as well as try to find locations to shoot from. By happy chance the weather was stunning for the Spartan 10’s meaning no restrictive wet weather gear, no needing to dry off, and no needing to find shelter. Believe me, I really do like the challenge of wet weather however on Saturday all I had to do was shoot, edit, file, eat a Lions Burger and repeat. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday really.

Today’s images are all from the Over 35 final between The Spartan’s and Harry’s Hitters. This was taken out by Harry’s Hitters 7 – 5

Spartan 10’s Charity Tournament (15.02.20)Spartans v Harry’s Hitters – Free Download
The Spartan 10’s charity rugby tournament held at Green Island Rugby Club in Dunedin on Saturday, February 15th, 2020. © John Caswell/Caswell Images/http://www.caswellimages.com (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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Weary

Spartan Wāhine‘s Final

I arrived at around 8:30am and now some 7 hours later I was starting to feel weary. It wasn’t the feeling of weariness that comes as a result of being tired or bored. Like having to listen to another ‘what happened last night’ on the Bachelorette conversation or having to listen to a Simon Bridges interview. This was the all over body weariness you get when you know that if you sit down, you just won’t get up.  

With camera in hand, I sat down (taking the risk and knowing full well that this could been a fatal mistake) behind the goal line and waited for the lineout. It wasn’t that the Women’s final unfolding in front of me wasn’t interesting, very far from it. It was a thoroughly enthralling final, it was just the fact that 7 hours of shooting was now catching up with me.

As players started to gather in front of me, the sunburn on my neck was starting to sting, likewise the tip of my nose. My legs were starting to feel heavy and I was now operating with a definite fatigue in my step. All this and I hadn’t even played a game of rugby! In this instant the thought suddenly crossed my mind that maybe I need to participate in some preseason training instead of shooting it. Realising that this was most definitely a thought to not dwell on, I let it pass and returned my attention to the lineout in front of me and the cold Speight’s that awaited me.

Spartan 10’s Charity Tournament (15.02.20)
Kaipoi vs Otago Islanders - Free Download
The Spartan 10’s charity rugby tournament held at Green Island Rugby Club in Dunedin on Saturday, February 15th, 2020. © John Caswell/Caswell Images/http://www.caswellimages.com (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) 
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Thursday Run Around

At Moller Park

Now that the Elton John and Queens concerts have passed and I managed to clear a few jobs and task off my schedule, I finally made it back to a preseason training. Tonight I called in at Moller Park as the Hawks build towards the coming season. It looks the numbers are growing as February moves on and sides get together for the Spartan 10’s this week.

The 10’s are once again being held at the Green Island rugby club this Saturday raising funds for Through The Other Side Suicide Awareness Trust. The first games kicks off at 8:40 and run through all the way till around 4pm.
See you there,
John

Preseason Training (13.02.20) The End – Free Download

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Waitangi Day Training

The Preseason

Now that we are in February the serious preseason really starts. Until now it’s been the preseason of the preseason for clubs in January. However,  I’m not sure that early February preseason and public holidays mix well together. Add to the mix and awful few days of weather earlier in the week and the numbers at training were probably never gonna be high tonight. 

At Shark Park they were battling what the MetService described as a ‘calm wind’ while doing the hard mahi that’ll pay dividends come June/July.

Preseason Training (06.02.20)
Shark frenzy – Order Print
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The New Season

Business as usual

Dunedin v Southern (25.05.19)Teague McElroy of Dunedin against Southern, Kettle Park, May, 2019.
© John Caswell / www.caswellimages.com – Order A Print

How quickly the rugby stories build after the new season has kicked off. My Sunday scroll through the stuff website found me reading about a case of déjà vu for the Blues at Eden Park, the ‘horrorcanes’ in Cape Town and business as usual for the Crusaders in Nelson. A few quick clicks of the mouse then found me scanning past stories about Warren Gatland’s return to Eden Park, more stories about the hopeless Hurricanes, the Blues SOS to Beauden Barrett and the partying of Rieko Ioane and his brother Akira.

What I took from all these stories was that the Blues fell apart in the second half while the bench selected by Warren Gatland got the Chiefs home. People seem to think that Ardie Savea returning will single-handedly save the Hurricanes and the same with Beauden Barrett for the Blues, life under Scott Roberston at the Crusaders has continued on as normal and Rieko Ioane has annoyed his neighbors (how this is a story is beyond me and despite this happening before Christmas, it somehow made the headlines AFTER the Blues season kicked off 2 months later). Instead of trying to digest these stories further, I flicked over to the Six Nations clash between Ireland and Scotland, put on my Leinster top and cheered on the Irish while selecting images for a glimpse back at the 2019 club season.

Keep your eye on the ball,
John

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H E A V Y R A I N

Thundery Rain Showers

Southern Preseason Training (29.01.20)Heavy Rain – Free Download

The Southwesterly change hit around 5:30 yesterday and hit hard. A pleasant day turned into heavy and thundery rain showers that passed over the city with a bit of wind for good measure. At Bathgate Park it absolutely bucketed down right on 6:00pm as the warm-up started. If your preseason training was on Tuesday night you would’ve been well happy, however for those sides training on Wednesday, they’ll be hoping for some fine evenings to help boost numbers. Otherwise, clubs might have to start bringing their gym shoes and head indoors to the Edgar Centre or other local gyms. The great news is that it’s meant to be fine and warm until Sunday which means lots of time for the beach.

Keep your eye on the ball,
John

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Questions On The Run

Is it OK to state that I already miss Ben Smith?

Otago University Preseason Training (28.01.20)Callum Hardie – Free Download

Yesterday I called in at the University Oval to see how the clubs preseason training was getting underway. It was while driving home and listening to an interview that I started to think over some points. These aren’t deep philosophical questions, more ponderings as rugby wakes up from it’s summer holiday. Thoughts like, would you pick Sam Cane at No 8 or No 7 to start the season? Despite the fact that I think January is to early to be playing rugby, here’s some questions and thoughts to think over.

What difference in style, play and results will Warren Gatland make at the Chiefs?

What difference in style, play and results will Tony Brown make at the Highlanders?

What difference in style, play and results will Jason Holland make at the Hurricanes?

Warrenball – Is it actually a thing beyond a term the media like to use?

Would you rather see Rieko Ioane on the wing or centre?

Does the Highlanders hinting at playing both Josh Ioane and Mitchell Hunt make anyone else nervous given how the All Blacks duel playmaker role went?

If Josh Ioane made the All Blacks last year at first five, wouldn’t you play him there?

Should I feel more excited about having a new All Black coach than I actually do?

Can the Blues keep their season alive until Beauden Barrett returns in April?

English club Saracens have been docked another 70 points to ensure they finish bottom of the table (there is a back story). I wonder how that went down? (you can read more here)

Akira Ioane? What’s the story there? How is that much talent not developed?

Did you notice how happy Stacey Fluhler looked every time she scored at the 7’s in Hamilton?

Who wins the Six Nations this year?

What’s Steve Tew’s legacy at club level in New Zealand over the last 12 years?

What’s the first thing new NZR CEO Mark Robinson should address?

Can the University men’s and women’s club sides here in Dunedin go back2back?

Isn’t it great to see Michael Collins now with the Highlanders?

What does the season hold for Southland rugby and it’s players?

Is it OK to state that I already miss Ben Smith?

All these questions and it’s only January. So, I’ll ask what I asked yesterday. Are you ready for Rugby?

Keep your eye on the ball,
John

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Are You Ready For Rugby?

It’s only January

Preseason Training (27.01.20)Ben Miller – Free Download

Are you ready for rugby? The New Zealand Rugby Football Union has just announced a review into all levels of rugby in this country, all the Super teams have completed their preseason and that competition kicks off this weekend, an international Sevens tournament has already been played in Hamilton and the clubs sides are getting their players into shape for the upcoming season. All this and it’s only January. So, I’ll ask again. Are you ready for Rugby?

Keep your eye on the ball,
John

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The Fortunes of Leinster

Irish Rugby

Hiya all, happy New Year, 2020 is going to be your season – I know it! I’m finally back on the scene for 2020. I’m heading into my 12 season of covering the oval ball game here in the south so I figured after all those years, I was allowed a bit of a lie in before getting underway for the year. 

I’ve been away in Ireland and Hong Kong for the last month taking in the fortunes of Irish side Leinster in the Guinness Pro14 and the Heineken Cup. So far they’re unbeaten in both competitions having won 10 from 10 in the Guinness Pro14 and 6 from 6 in the European Champions Cup (Heineken Cup). I caught them live at RDS Arena where they racked up 54 points against Connacht. I also managed to take in a few games at local Dublin bars where they beat Munster 13 – 6 and Lyon 42 – 14. In the European Champions Cup (Heineken Cup) they’ve drawn to play English powerhouse Saracens in the Quarter Final which should be an epic encounter. 

Saracens are not without problems however as they were found to have breached the Premiership salary cap of £7m last November. The Saracens club were docked 35 points, relegated to the Championship for next season and fined £5.3m. What all that means is that the clash between Leinster and Saracens at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 4th April will be an intriguing match. 

Keep your eye on the ball,
John

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Spirit Claim Championship Crown

The Perfect Season

The Otago Spirit completed the perfect season by defeating Hawkes Bay in the Farah Palmer Cup Championship final with a 24 – 20 victory at Forsyth Barr Stadium this afternoon.

In a tight  first half, Hawkes Bay took an 8 – 7 lead into the break after Spirit first five Rosie Kelly opened the scoring by converting her own try, before Hawkes Bay came back to take the lead through a try and a penalty.

The arm wrestle continued in the second half with the lead changing hands before Otago’s Kilisitina Moata’ane and Sheree Hume both grabbed tries to give Otago a nine point lead with around 5 minutes remaining. A late try to Hakes Bay closed the gap to 4 points however the Spirit hung on to the lead and took the Championship win and the 2019 title.

Otago Spirit v Hawkes Bay Tui Final (27.10.19)
Championship Champions

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