Fodie racks up 150th game

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If Jeroe Fodie’s rugby retirement had gone to plan he would not have achieved the milestone he passed on Saturday, when the Edendale first five-eighth played his 150th game for the club.

Edendale beat Riversdale 17-15 in a Rugby Southland division 1 game in Riversdale.

Fodie said he had retired at the end of last season.

“I wasn’t originally playing this year [but] they were a bit light on numbers, so [I] just came back to help the boys out for the season,” he said.

His fitness had dropped off, which was another reason he had decided to play.

He now says he plans to retire at the end of this season.

“I will give it another nudge.”

Fodie (30) admitted playing rugby had taken its toll on his body.

“I had a few injuries .. a couple of knee reconstructions, so the body is not in the best shape.”

Edendale was the only club he had played for apart from the years he played at secondary school.

“Just Edendale – it’s me through and through.”

After leaving Menzies College, he took a year off from playing rugby because of injury and then started playing for the Magpies in 2007.

He had always played first five, enjoying the playmaker role of the position.

“It’s about reading the game.

“I enjoy being close to the action – you get to decide what play is coming next.”

A highlight of his playing years had been winning the division 2 title in 2009, then division 1 in 2012 and 2017.

His family has strong links to the club – his grandfather, the late Bruce Cunningham, coached and his uncles and father John played for the club.

His mother, Denise, had been involved on the committee, uncle Mike Cunningham now coached the senior team and brother Bram played fullback.

“It’s been a family club.”

The social aspect of the club was important to him, he said.

“It’s a lot of fun.

“When there’s a good vibe, you stay there longer.”

Fodie said winning against Riversdale was a good way to celebrate the achievement.

“It took 80 minutes to close it out but to do it on a 150th milestone made it even sweeter – I was rapt.”