Premiers relish long-held rivalries


The Clutha Rugby Club’s Premier team will be one to watch in the Southern Region rugby competition for the 2022 season.

The Premiers is an experienced and hard-hitting team that has accommodated many players for more than 100 years. The team always works together to strive for success and has proven to excel through countless trainings and matches against various teams.

The Premiers are nicknamed ‘‘The Steamers’’ after the paddle steamer the SS

Clutha, a boat which used to work on the Clutha River in the early 1900s. This boat is depicted on the club’s emblem.

Tall timber . . . Clutha Rugby Club’s Premier team works together to collect the ball in the lineout during a match in a previous season.

The Steamers enjoy their local rivalries throughout the competition and play for annual trophies against Owaka, Toko, Clinton and Crescent.

Many local rugby supporters favour the contests between Clutha and Crescent, as the teams have always historically had evenly fought matches with a 50% win to loss ratio for more than 140 years.

Clutha and Crescent teams and supporters continue to make an event out of the matches as they are very popular within the community.

The Steamers compete alongside the different teams for trophies, and have successfully won them in previous years.

The Steamers have a traditional pre-season game against Alhambra Union from Dunedin.

This annual fixture is more than 140 years old making it one of the longest standing annual games in the country.

The team has a wide range of players, from age 18 to 42.

The players all get along well and create a fantastic dynamic both on and off the field and they love the challenges set before them with different teams.

Their coach is Simon Grant, who is also excited for the season, along with assistant coach Tyler Bichan, and both have played over 100 games for Clutha.

The Premiers thrive on celebrating success.

They have and have had many players who have played over 100 games for them and shown their continuous dedication to the club.

Last year, the team celebrated one of their loyal players Phil Keighley who played 300 games for Clutha, which was an amazing achievement.

Players who play 50 games for Clutha get a personalised cap, and for their 100th game they receive a blazer for their achievements. The team has many players who have played over 50and 100 games and they are always celebrated by the club. The Premiers have a couple of players reaching their 100th game this year, and are looking to hold events for these players in celebration of them. They have also welcomed six new players into their core team and hope to attract more for this and next season. Although Covid-19 complications have pushed back and reduced their season, the team is still excited to get into the competition and give it their all.

To inquire about the Clutha Premiers team, contact Simon Grant on 021 177-2881 or Darren Huddleston on 021 191-4815.