Well here we go one week left, then into semi’s we go.
What a great Saturday last week, during the day we had three wins from three games, then one hell of a party with our netball girls Saturday night. It was great to see such a tight bond between Netball and Rugby and after a coffee catch up with Grace Kelly, (Chairperson of Netball) our plan going forward is to keep working together and help each other out as much as we can.
This week the earlier kick-off of 11.15am for our Div 1 team and 1pm for our Premiers at Stratford. Our Premiers need to keep the momentum going and are to name another strong line up getting ready for our home semi-final next week. Our Div 1 team needs to win with a bonus point then hope Southern can get up over NPOB for them to get a home semi next week. Our Div 2 boys travel to Bell block for a 1pm kick-off and need to keep moving forward and pick up the win.
I hope we can all get out and support our teams this Saturday then meet back at the Chook house for a debrief with the bar open at 3pm onwards.
Saturday Morning our Streamline Junior Rugby is underway again with games starting at 9.30am onwards. Be sure to grab a Proof and Stock Coffee from the girls in the Chook house café. All profits go back to Tukapa.
See you all on the sidelines
Your Chairperson Scott Siffleet
ASH GARDINER (All Black #728)
Recently a function was held after team training on a Thursday evening to mark the re-commissioning of the upstairs back bar, better known as Ash’s Bar, at Tukapa RFC. Recently this area has fallen into disuse so, at the initiative of some of our leading afternoon grade players and management, it has been tidied up, re-decorated and brought back into service as a private bar area, at no cost to the Club.
Those with long memories will recall that Ash’s Bar first came into existence in November 1998, after being jointly built by Ash Gardiner, using his plumbing connections and life member Rex Manley, who comes from a building background. Rex was also instrumental in building the big wooden bar leaners which were a feature of the bar.
For over 15 years Ash’s Bar served as an “Inner Sanctum” where club members could enjoy a cold beverage at times when the main hall area was booked out for private functions or on Friday evenings during the winter when a smaller, cosier space was a more suitable option than either of the other two bar areas. Appropriately, Ash himself was guest of honour at the reopening where he enjoyed rubbing shoulders with many of today’s afternoon grade players.
For those who don’t already know, Ashley John Gardiner became Tukapa’s 12th All Black when chosen to represent New Zealand in 1974.
Starting with the Senior A’s in 1966, Ash was part of the legendary championship-winning team of the 1960’s, a side which under the coaching of Pat Doherty, won three club championship titles (1966, 1968, 1969) and were runners-up twice (1965, 1967) within a glorious five year span 1965 to 1969.
Ash’s performances for Taranaki in the late 1960s as a specialist tighthead prop were soon recognized at higher levels. He was selected for a Junior All Black (Under 23) trial in 1967 and went on to captain the Junior All Blacks in 1968 for their match versus Japan at Athletic Park.
During the next six seasons Ash played prominently at both club and rep level, racking up vast experience with Taranaki including a host of matches against international teams such as Wales (1969), the Lions (1971), the Wallabies (1972) and England (1973).
Ash’s selection for the All Blacks came in 1974 when he was one of a number of long-serving provincial stalwarts who JJ Stewart promoted into the All Blacks for their tour of Australia in 1974. In all, he played in nine of the 12 matches on the tour, scored tries in wins against ACT and Queensland and capped off his tour by gaining test selection for the third test against Australia played on 8 June in Sydney. The All Blacks won that test 16- 6 to wrap up the series two to nil, with one test drawn.
Later in 1974 Ash played for the North Island and had another All Black trial prior to being selected for the All Blacks tour of Ireland at the end of the year. On tour he played in two of the six matches, his appearances being against Munster (won 14-4) and Ulster (won 30-15).
Ash carried on playing for Tukapa and Taranaki in 1975 and was once again chosen for an All Black trial match but after reaching 102 games for Taranaki was forced into retirement on medical grounds. However, he continued to serve Tukapa as a coach and an administrator, with his last year on the club Executive Committee being in 2000.
For the All Blacks, Ash played 11 matches including one test for a total of 8 points (2 tries, under the 4 points for a try scoring system in use those days).