Colourful character had great rugby brain

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With the passing of Brian Dorgan, aged 70 years, it brings to an end a colourful South Canterbury sporting identity who gave so much to rugby. Though Kiwi-born, he had a wicked Irish sense of humour.
I had the privilege of playing under the best rugby coach I ever had, in the excellent 1973 South Canterbury U18 Team that ‘‘Dorgie’’ coached. What a coach. He could read a game so well and installed confidence in every individual in the squad and believed in every player.
The team knocked over Canterbury, Otago and Southland at the 1973 South Island tournament in Christchurch, then in the semifinal against Canterbury, refereed by a Canterbury referee, in the closing minutes, one of our players was penalised close to our posts and we lost 3-0. It was a tournament we could have, and should have, won. Dorgie was gutted.
He just loved his players and loved reminiscing. Dorgie was so proud of his South Canterbury boys and the players credited Dorgie.
Dorgie coached the Celtic Seniors with All Black Tom Lister, but at club level Dorgie was too close to the players. I believe if he had been given the opportunity to coach South Canterbury at the elite level, he would have been an outstanding representative coach.
Dorgie was proud of his son, Craig, and so he should have been. Craig played for New Zealand Schools, New Zealand Colts, was an All Black triallist and had 98 caps for South Canterbury. Behind all of this would have been Brian, an astute, calculating, caring reader of the game who coached brilliantly. The dinner table rugby talk at the Dorgan family home is where Craig developed his ability to read and play rugby.
Dorgie loved his racehorses, especially the gallops and coowned a lot of renowned winners, and loved a pint as well. He was a well versed Irishman who would sing Irish songs all night if you let him.
Dorgie was the union secretary for the meat works at Pareora.
I salute you, Dorgie. You had great morals and good on you for your beliefs, something that I admired. RIP. It has been a privilege to have known you, reaffirmed by the large turnout at your funeral last Saturday. Such great respect and humour.
TRACK AND FIELD
Timaru sprinter Jacob Matson ran a brilliant 200m in Auckland on Saturday in recording 21.08sec to qualify for the World Junior Championship . It was all the more superb, as he earlier in the day completed a university commerce exam in Wellington, then jumped on a plane and arrived 15 minutes before the 200m event and ran this superb time. The New Zealand 4x100m team trained in Auckland on Sunday in preparation for the world junior championships in Poland next month.
CYCLING
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Timaruvian Shane Archibold has achieved the ultimate in cycling, being selected to ride in the 2016 Tour de France in the coming weeks. The Mountainview High School Old Boy has climbed the mountain and is earning the big bucks in the toughest event in world sport.
RUGBY
Over a four-week period the Timaru Boys’ High School First XV has played seven games including winning and defending the Moascar Cup, against Christchurch Boys’ (L), St Bede’s (L), Shirley Boys’ (W), St Andrew’s (W-Moascar Cup), Nelson College (L), Otago Boys’ (L) and Christ’s College (L23-43) last Saturday. It was a real test of character. To put it into perspective, in the last 10 days, they played four games. Boys’ High have shown real durability — pretty much injury free, but were just tired. This week, they have no midweek interschool game and will come in fresh this coming weekend against Burnside High in the UC Championship, at home.
Roncalli College First XV last Saturday surprisingly lost 26-3, a game I thought they would win at home.
Former Roncalli College First XV player, Carisbrook To’omalatai (New Brighton) has been named in the 2016 Canterbury ITM Cup squad — great reward for this outstanding forward prospect.
TRAP SHOOTING
Rio Olympics-bound Natalie Rooney comes from an outstanding sporting family. Dad Gary and brothers Cameron and William are all New Zealand trap shooting internationals. Mum Adrienne (nee Grant) was a New Zealand basketball junior international, and grandfather Andrew Grant (4 caps), uncles Dave (41), Peter (113) and Ross
(20) and cousin James (2) all represented South Canterbury rugby. Peter represented the South Island (1980-84), was an All Black triallist (1980-83) and was on standby for three All Black tours. Great-uncle Lachie Grant was an All Black (1947-51, 23 matches including four tests) and another cousin was the New Zealand rodeo champion. What another great South Canterbury sporting family.