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.
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.
This is not a definitive collection of shield moments, yet nor is it a ‘best of’ collection. This is a visual reflection of shield moments from Otago’s 2018/2019 reign. There was some fantastic rugby played as Otago successfully defended the shield six times, many people involved in making the defences special occasions and a wonderful community buzz whenever the shield was taken on tour.
I hope you enjoy this visual reflection of Otago’s shield reign.
The Shield Reign
Otago won the Shield from Waikato in a 23–19 victory in Hamilton on Saturday, 13th October, 2018.
Otago’s 2019 Shield Defences
Vs Thames Valley Won 41 to 21
Vs North Otago Won 49 to 14
Vs Southland Won 41 to 22
Vs Manawatu Won 37 to 20
Vs Taranaki Won 35 to 27
Vs Waikato . Won 45 to 35
Vs Canterbury Lost 35 – 25
Matiu Abraham of Thames Valley and Otago’s Joe Latta share a joke after the Ranfurly Shield match between Otago and Thames Valley played at the Wanaka Showgrounds in Wanaka, on Saturday 13th July, 2019.
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.
A jubilant Canterbury side with the Ranfurly Shield after Canterbury defeated Otago 35 – 25 this evening in Dunedin.
Usually in a try scoring movement I will only edit one or two photos from a series however on this occasion I finished at least four and I think there is a fifith in the gallery. From memory, up until this point in the game I hadn’t really got much from the game so I edited a few extra just in case. It also provides a good example of how many shots are can be capture in one movement of play.
Jona Nareki of Otago fights off the tackle of North Otago’s Sam Sturgess to score during the Ranfurly Shield match between Otago and North Otago played at Whitestone Contracting Stadium in Oamaru, on Friday 26th July, 2019.
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.
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.
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.