Athletic Marist may be having a tough time in this year’s Citizens Shield competition, but one group of players from days gone by has plenty to celebrate this weekend.
Players from the victorious 1993 side captained by Brett Stuart that beat Valley in the final will reunite at the club’s rooms to mark 25 years since a famous win.
It was the club’s first shield title since 1978, when it toppled an Old Boys team that featured former All Black and North Otago great Ian Hurst 13-0.
Athletic Marist life member Tony Byrne said several members of the squad planned to watch today’s annual First XV clash between Waitaki Boys’ High School and St Kevin’s College at Whitestone Contracting Stadium.
They would then head to the clubrooms to watch footage of the 1993 final, followed by the Highlanders-Crusaders Super rugby game.
They will watch their former club take on Valley the following day in the final round of the North Otago competition.
Byrne said, after a dry spell, coach Peter Cook “rebuilt” the side in 1993.
“That heralded the start of a golden era for Athies. We won a few shields after that, and that was with the nucleus of that team.”
Athletic Marist has struggled in 2018 due to a lack of players, culminating in a 73-7 hiding at the hands of bottom-placed Excelsior on June 23 with only 13 men available.
It was also forced to default to Old Boys earlier in the season.
team competition after 13 games with only three wins.
Byrne said the club was going through a “lean patch”, but had a core of loyal supporters he hoped would help “boost the club’s morale”.
Athletic Marist last won the shield in 2010.