Photo by ARL
ARL recently spoke to a couple of Open Age Restricted (OAR) legends to hear their stories and opinions on the grade.
The Howick Hornets have been known for having a very strong OAR side, and no one knows it better than Peter Mclnally. Peter was a long time player in the OAR grade and has seen it all in his time.
“The best thing about the OAR grade is that everyone is keen and raring to go. They want to play good competitive footy but also understand there are some less skilled guys with you that are newer to the game, like when I started.”
“Even better than the on field was the off field antics of OAR. It is renowned as the social grade and every club wants a team. These guys are the backbone of the club. To this day the mates from OAR are still my best mates close to 20 years later. These are the guys that I will go to when we want a good night, or need a hand for anything at all.”
“The most enjoyable rugby league I ever played was at the OAR level. Highly recommend it, it is perfect for the new guys getting into the sport and the older guys who want to take half a step back from premieres to still play for a few more years.”
“We have been part of the club for as long as the furniture and now returning the favour by helping in the kitchens and on the committee, giving back to the sport that gave me so many fantastic friends and memories. If you are thinking about playing OAR, then do it, give it a go. You will not regret it and you only live once so make the most of it and be proud of whatever club you play for.”
We also spoke to Hibiscus Coast Raiders OAR legend Neil Duff. Neil also known as “Duffie” has been a long standing player and member of the Hibiscus Coast Raiders, He believes that bringing back the OAR competition will be “Great for the game.”
“It was really just a group of us who were playing topside but our bodies were getting beaten badly as we were getting older. We had enough of being a small forward playing against teams who are much bigger than you, so we decided to try to throw an 85s team in and from there I never looked back. I actually wish I made the decision a bit earlier to save my body a little more.”
“It’s pretty hard to pick a highlight moment as we had some bloody good years with all different groups of guys. Some decided to leave to rugby but the core of us stuck on and the highlight would be winning the competition with all those boys.”
At Auckland Rugby League, it is our aim to get this competition back up and running. The OAR grade was the backbone of the Senior grades and gave people the opportunity to have fun and play the game we love so much.
If you’re interested to sign up, go through your clubs page, look out for key details and get signed up. Bring the fun and help us make this the start of something special.