It was no coincidence Valley had its best performance of the season on Saturday.
The team wanted to make Mark Roney’s 200th game for the club a special one.
In 2005, Roney made the step up from schoolboy rugby at St Kevin’s College to Valley, lured across by Barry Fox.
“I didn’t know anyone there, but I was always keen to play for a country club,” he said.
He has played every year since then, starting out as an outside back.
“I’ve sort of played everywhere now – flanker, No8, lock, but normally in the midfield now.
“I’m happy to play anywhere.”
Roney (32) had a stint in Holland in 2011, playing for Sparta in the off season through a contact arranged by North Otago Rugby Union chief executive Colin Jackson.
Three Citizens Shield victories have been the highlight of Roney’s time at Valley.
“Everyone knows how hard it is to get your hands on that, and I have been lucky enough to do it three times,” he said.
“Also playing the [100th game] and [200th game] has been one of my goals for a while.”
Valley is touring Australia next year, which Roney is keen to be part of, so he has no plans to hang up his boots any time soon.
“I’ve still got a few seasons in me,” he said. “I’ll just keep going until I can’t.”
Away from rugby, Roney has a bricklaying business and has just bought a house in town with his fiance Gabrielle Docherty.
Valley coach Mike Mavor was playing for Valley when Roney made his debut in 2005.
“We probably taught him a few tricks back then that hopefully he is passing on now,” he said.
“It’s a great effort to get 200 games, clubs are built around these sort of guys.”