Tane the Taniwha makes a guest appearance at Southern Rugby’s sponsors day

Full support for the game

by Andy Bryenton

There was a substantial turnout and at least one surprise guest at Southern Rugby’s recent sponsor’s day in Te Kopuru.

Saturday, May 4 saw families gather at the club rooms to watch some exciting football and to celebrate the contribution of the more than 100 sponsors who make this ‘grass roots’ level of the game possible. Club spokesman Chris Fife says that it would have been impossible to create the facilities, which Southern enjoys without the generous aid of those sponsors both corporate and private.

“Especially today, we can’t thank them enough,” he says. “All of this, and all the history belongs to them as much as to the players. Our supporters make us strong.” It’s a sentiment shared by a special guest on the day who should know. Tane the Taniwha, proud mascot of Northland rugby, was there to raise the kauri tree banner and meet and greet fans young and old. The monster mascot donned red and black Southern club strip before taking the field, delighting the locals. That boosted enthusiasm before a game against Mid Western, where top of the table Southern was level 5–5 at half-time but succumbed to a fierce second round rally to end the game 10–22 to the visitors. Round two starts soon, with some tough matchups on the way, but Southern remain optimistic as they head into the second stretch of the season.