East Coast prop Hayden Kerr gets referee Pete Semmens’ nod for a try against Greytown just before halftime. PHOTO/KYLIE EVANS



A Tuhirangi forward shrugs off the Puketoi defenders in a Senior Reserves semifinal. PHOTO/PETE NIKOLAISON

Saturday’s club rugby semifinals were a throwback to a bygone era of muddy fields, and almost indistinguishable players.

Fortunately for the players, the modern rugby ball is significantly better than the old leather ball that was slippery as soap to catch and as heavy as an anvil to kick when waterlogged.

Hence, spectators were treated to the thrill-a-minute rugby of unrecognisable forwards tucking the ball under the arm and rumbling into an equally unrecognisable opposition forward.

It was a testament to the skills of the semifinalists that they still played attacking rugby and threw the ball around.

Of course, the fields are much improved and very rarely do they turn into the quagmires that were common place.

But with the heavy rain and conditions are as bad as they were, they made for some great photographs.