From The Sideline with Ferg

From The Sideline with Ferg 548 543 The Flyer Magazine
Ferg Sports

From The Sideline


Nice to be back. Please take care and look out for each other.

I just want to have my say about the recent incident involving Highlanders rugby players in Queenstown. I have lived here for 32 years and I have just about had enough of sports teams and individuals who come here and put our town up in lights across the country for all the wrong reasons.

I remember back in 1995 the All Blacks had a pre-World Cup camp in Queenstown. I received a call from then All Black coach Laurie Mains wanting air time to square away wayward player behaviour in town during the weekend. Unbeknown to Mains, I was aware of what had gone on. No player suffered. It was us as a community who paid the price because the All Blacks have never been back since – only three players on a flying visit in 2019. Queenstown not considered any more, due to the temptations and the town’s reputation. Look at yourselves and your behaviour first before branding us as a community!

Then we had the Norm Hewitt incident when he was here with the Hurricanes, followed by the Aussie Rules players who cut loose, and the Mike Tindall affair during the Lions tour and, more recently, the Highlanders episode. And then bugger me, I see media writing on the back of speculation that Queenstown will host the Springboks, the Pumas and the Wallabies for the Rugby Championship, saying that teams will need to be careful because of past form and the temptations of Queenstown. Then I had to put up with a nationwide radio producer saying, “Well, it was Queenstown. What else do you expect?” Don’t use us as an excuse. We open our hearts and region every time only for dickheads to stab us in the back. Queenstown will be a fabulous host if granted the opportunity to host the Rugby Championship teams.

Back to the Highlanders, you are part of our province and we are part of you. We support you through large numbers watching on the telly, or driving through to Dunedin for games under the roof at Forsyth Barr. We are the ones who suffer, because more than likely we will miss out. Games will bypass us as officials deem it too much of a risk and that means we as supporters and the kids don’t get the opportunity to see players up front and face to face on our turf.  To any other teams coming to Queenstown, please respect us, respect our community and enjoy what we have to offer. Enough is enough, we don’t want to be penalised ANYMORE!

I have followed the likes of James Anstiss from Queenstown and Laura Hoskin from Arrowtown make their way through college golf scholarships in the United States and now make a charge at professional golf careers. Following on in early 2021 will be 19-year-old Danielle Bailey from Queenstown who had a choice of Hawaii or Western Washington University. She chose Western Washington and is eagerly awaiting the opportunity of a lifetime. She is currently number two in Otago and really only took up the sport five to six years ago. She is a bubbly, infectious young lady and we add her to the list of many young Queenstown sportspeople, whether it be golf, tennis or football, who have benefited from the US college system.