North Otago Rugby Supporters Club members are a fanatical bunch at the best of times.
But they are taking things to a new level today by travelling to a game they can’t attend.
A loyal group of North Otago Rugby Supporters Club members are hitting the road to Christchurch to take in what they can of North Otago’s Ranfurly Shield Challenge against Canterbury at 2.05pm.
The match is closed to the public due to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions.
“Whether we make Christchurch and camp outside to peek through the fence with our radio on or Sky Go app playing the match, or haul up in a country hotel somewhere, we intend to still make the trip to get in behind the Old Golds,” president Ralph Davies said.
“It’s about respecting the shield. It would be easy enough to stay home but we don’t get Ranfurly Shield challenges every year.”
Some of the supporters had taken the day off work for the occasion, Mr Davies said.
“The bus is ready to go so as long as we scrub up, masks on and don’t spit on anyone, we intend getting out there to honour our team.
“We will ensure that local hotels get a chance for us to assist their turnover.”
Mr Davies said Old Golds supporters were disappointed to not be able to attend the game, but were pleased it was still able to be played.
“This will be a great opportunity for our boys to come out of the trenches firing and steal the shield and bring it over the Waitaki River to Oamaru,” he said.
”It may be that sort of a trip if we do get a good run and the mood takes us we may even make it to the West Coast.”
North Otago coach Jason Forrest said the team appreciated the lengths the supporters club went to every year and this was yet another example of their loyalty.
“It just shows how loyal they are,” Mr Forrest said.
“We know they will be there in spirit and we will be going as hard as we can for them.
“They will be sitting in a pub somewhere enjoying a beer, and hopefully we can make that flow a bit easier by the way we play.”