A man of his convictions


Queenstowner has trumped 86 Aussies to win the Australian spoofing championships.

Murray Cockburn, who’s played the coin game for 30 years, won the title on the eve of the first Bledisloe rugby Test in Sydney.

“They organised the Wallabies-All Blacks game the next day,” he quips.

Cockburn, 77, who’s also won the Fiji champs, says winning The Convict Colony Cup is his spoofing highlight.

He beat Kiwi Mike Banks, a double world champion, in the quarter-finals.

The current world champ, Benny Brooks, the only other New Zealander in the champs, was a beaten semi-finalist.

His seconder in the finals was Melbourne-based part-time Queens-towner Stan Gyles.

Cockburn, who’s lived on and off in Queenstown for 50 years, says there’s luck involved but also a certain amount of skill – “clearly, some people are better at it than others”.

He also organises the annual Queenstown spoofing champs, which he won two years ago.

“It took me about 10 years to win my own tournament.”