Welcome to the Merivale Maulers

Golden Oldies Rugby Team



What is Golden Oldies rugby? Well, here is the official version;

The spirit of “Golden Oldies” is epitomised in the motto of “Fun, Friendship, Fraternity”.

This international motto is the central theme of every Golden Oldies game.

These rules do not permit offside play, over-vigorous play, unsportsman like behaviour and have been designed to increase the enjoyment of the game while minimising the chances of injury.

The normal laws of rugby as per the International Rugby Board (IRB) shall apply with the following law variations (unless varied by mutual agreement between teams and officials):

  • Players must be 35 years of age or older.
  • The game shall be 3 x 20 minute periods or as determined by mutual agreement.
  • All 8 forwards must remain bound in the scrum until the ball has been cleared.
  • The half back must not follow the ball around the scrum.
  • There must be NO pressure scrummaging.
  • There shall be NO striking against the head by the hookers.
  • From a penalty there shall be no quick tap & all players shall retire 10 metres.
  • Players may kick the ball only in their own 22.
  • In line-outs all 8 forwards must take part.
  • Teams scoring a try shall restart the game by kicking the ball to the non-scoring team.
  • Substitution of any player is permitted at any time and a player substituted may return to the game at any time.
  • Players must observe the offside rule particularly that of remaining behind the hindmost foot at rucks and mauls,  5m at scrums and a minimum of 10 metres at line-outs.


Coloured Shorts

All players are to observe the restrictions on tackling “older” players. These are identified by coloured shorts:

  • Up to 59 years: Club shorts
  • 60-64 years: Red shorts** – can be claimed but not to be tackled
  • 65-69 years: Gold shorts – not to be tackled
  • 70-84 years: Purple shorts – not to be tackled
  • 85+ years: Special shorts (will be provided by the club) – not to be tackled
    ** or any player, who through medical or physical conditions, does not want to be tackled.


Now for what actually happens.

Remember the line above “unless varied by mutual agreement between teams and officials”

  • Games are played on Sundays at 2.00pm.  This is so that you have plenty of time to fulfil any religious obligations you may have in the mornings.
  • I don’t think there has been a game where the full 20 minutes in the last 1/3 has been played.  Normally players have had enough after 10 minutes or sometimes even earlier.
  • Sometimes one team will turn up with more players than others.  Team playing numbers are usually “balanced” out with players switching teams so an even match is played.
  • Whilst 8 in a scrum is preferred, sometimes you don’t get there in time. Positions are on a first come first get basis. There are sometimes “long scrums” (players line up behind each other, or “wide scrums” (8 players in each front row).
  • Lineouts are few are far between because of the next point raised. Lineouts are highly contested as not much jumping is carried out and there’s a lot of pushing and shoving.  Sometimes “short” lineouts are called where all players contest the lineout whilst on their knees.
  • The kicking of the ball is usually out-lawed and doing so results in a penalty. Hence why, so few lineouts.
  • Normally a player can only run the ball for a distance of 20 metres after which they must pass to another player.
  • Drinks breaks normally occur before the match and at each interval.  Oranges are prohibited and usually drinks are served in shot glasses and have an alcoholic strength of more than 10%.  Water is permitted in order to prevent severe dehydration.


Hosting teams provide a meal afterwards in their clubrooms or local establishment licensed to provide re-hydrating beverages.  Teams utilise these occasions to run team raffles to assist in the funding of the teams.

The Merivale Maulers home ground and clubrooms are those operated by the Marist West Rugby League Club situated on the back half of Bishopdale Park.


This year the Merivale Maulers will play the following matches:

Date                 Opposition                    Home/Away      Venue  

2rd May             Air NZ Koru’s                     Away            South Hagley Park, Deans Avenue

16th May           Amuri Rams                      Away             Hanmer Springs Domain

30th May           Shirley W’s                         Home           Marist West Rugby League Club, Bishopdale

13th June          Suburbs Marauders         Home           Marist West Rugby League Club, Bishopdale

4th July              Bay Bullshitters                 Away           Diamond Harbour Rugby Club, Diamond Hbr Domain

18th July            Woodend                           Away           Woodend Rugby Club, Gladstone Road, Woodend

15th August       Linwood Bulls                   Away           Linwood Rugby Club, Linfield Park

29th August       Belfast Barstuds              Home           Marist West Rugby League Club, Bishopdale                                  


The Merivale Maulers run weekly raffles at the Bishops Brothers Tavern, Farrington Ave, Bishopdale every Friday afternoon from 4.30pm.  Anyone who may have an interest in joining the team is welcome to come along and meet a few of the team members and supporters at the Bishop Bros Tavern.

Or you can contact the following for any additional information.


Gavin Smallridge

Email: smallridges@xtra.co.nz

021 0230 2928


Come and join in the fun