The North Otago Old Golds is a New Zealand rugby team known mainly for their passion for the game, theres nothing that hurts more than losing a match, and nothing that feels better than a hard earned win.
Last year (2002) the Old Golds played in the third division final for the 4th time in 6 years. They had been robbed 3 out of those 4 finals. But not this time, the two Tongan backs, Pila Fifita (wing) and Fepikou Tatafu (center-half), cut through the Horowhenua defenses like they were a college rugby team short of two players.
After what turned out to be a complete route, the North Otago captain held the third division trophy atop his victorious head to seal the teams placing in this years second division NPC. For the first time EVER.
The "Old Golds" as the supporters know them, have quite a history, the inkpads have been kept busy over the years, writing and re-writing the great book of North Otago history. The sound of breaking records has become familiar in North Otago lately, smashed records include:
A six-in-a-row winning streak in the preliminary rounds of the NPC, this was a record both for North Otago AND Otago. Considering that the previous record of wins on the trot was only two, The Old Golds' streak was rather impressive.
Their first ever wins in the North Island are certainly notable.
The half-ton was, for the first time, broken. North Otago scored a mammoth 54 points against Buller at Carisbrook.
The team's 236 points and 29 tries have also established new marks that are unlikely to be broken in a hurry.
A colourful history for an upcoming New Zealand rugby
The management this year consists of 10 members of the NORFU (North Otago Rugby Football Union), they are as follows.
Greg Cooper Coach
Wayne Graham Assistant Coach
Dick Cleland Board Member
Maurice Ireland Board Member
John Hornbrook CEO
Murray Pearson Board Member
Peter Rowell President
Peter Twiss Board Member
Jock Webster Deputy Chairman
Garth Woodcock Board Member
Greg McLeod Fitness Adviser
Greg cooper is also the assistant-coach for the Otago Highlanders. He and his assistant coach (Wayne Graham will be coaching the team for two years to come.
Greg McLeod was a former South African rowing champion, he was approached by the Otago Rugby Football Union as well as the North Otago Football Union. He choose North Otago because they had a team in the NPC.
Support for the North Otago Old Golds is strong, loyal companies sponsor the team without batting an eyelid. Some of them are Smoke Free, Air New Zealand, Lion Breweries (Speights), Mike Bankier (Champions Bar Dunedin), Meadow Fresh and Programme advertisers.
Again I must reiterate the fact that rugby in New Zealand is a passionate affair. The culture of the game commands all New Zealand rugby followers to adopt a die-hard philosophy and hopefully continue to support, play and yell obscenities at the referee from the sidelines.
The management list was sourced from http://www.northotagorugby.com/