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It’s not okay says Eke’s Dave

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

Eketahuna rugby stalwart Dave Shannon has a message for the Chiefs Super Rugby team – it’s not okay.

The 71-year-old was so disgusted to read of what allegedly went on at the team’s Mad Monday party in Waikato he decided to speak out.

“It’s not okay, not okay here in Eketahuna and never has been, and not okay in Waikato” Mr Shannon said.

The past-president of the Eketahuna Rugby Club, who played rugby from the age of 15 until he turned 36, said in his playing days there was drinking and partying but nothing nearly as unacceptable of the behaviour he had read about from the Chiefs bash.

It is alleged that a stripper was indecently handled by the players.

“[The Chiefs] came back from South Africa were they had got a bloody hiding, had a party and then this happens.

“In my day there were parties with booze but nothing that bought the game into disrepute,” he said.

Mr Shannon said he was astonished to find the media had almost immediately tackled All Blacks coach Steve Hansen about the Chiefs incident.

“He went on television and of course knew nothing about what had supposedly happened.”

Mr Shannon said he was so upset and angry at what had been reported as having happened he telephoned his old Eketahuna mate Sir Brian Lochore and had a talk to him about its effect on rugby’s reputation.

Dave Shannon started his rugby playing career at Eketahuna High School, went on to play fourth grade then junior rugby and finally senior rugby for the Eketahuna club.

He played anywhere in the backline but ended up a fullback.

When he finished as a player he spent seven years as a referee and then had a six-year stint as club president.

Mr Shannon said unlike many of today’s players who earn big money and attract sponsorship the players of his era had to pay their own way.

“The Eketahuna boys used to gather up slink skins and sell them to raise money.”

Mr Shannon is Eketahuna born and has lived there almost all his life, dairy farming at Nireaha.

“The farm was sold in 1997 and we had a cattery and dog kennels for a while in Ashhurst but I came back to Eketahuna after I had gone to a couple of funerals.

“One was in Masterton and I looked into the grave, it was all stones.

“The other was in Pahiatua and that was stones too.

“I moved back to Eke because I want to be buried in the cemetery here where it is dirt all the way to the bottom.

“It might be pretty wet but I have told my family to put a bottle of whisky in with me as I will already have the water to go with it,” he said.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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