Aussies get a kick out of our Perk but Kiwi players bay for blood


No-holds-barred player summaries by hard-hitting Mountain Scene rugby columnist Ben Perkins might not have gone down well with the Highlanders and Force camps before last Saturday’s Super 14 clash in Queenstown. 

However, it was a very different story across the Tasman … 

The Sydney Morning Herald’s rugby writer Greg Growden devoted an entire back-page column to Perkins’s poisoned pen on the Monday after the game. 

He says to describe Perkins – a former Wallaby kicking coach – as one of the most eccentric characters to be involved with the national side is an understatement. 

Growden recalls Perkins being responsible for dubbing Test players Matt Giteau “Kid Dynamite” and winger Lote Tuqiri “The Dark Shark”. 

He also recounts his searing pre-Test rev-ups – Perkins once brutalised a Wallaby forward by calling him as timid as Ronald McDonald. 

Growden felt some of Perkins’ Mountain Scene lines were worth a repeat. 

Highlanders prop Clint Newland was described as “Our Clunt” who “like most hunters, needs a gun to be effective”. 

And who could forget what he said about “hobo type” prop Bronson Murray. “Next time he jumps a train, he will probably find himself fruit picking,” Perkins spat. 

Force players copped it too. 

Prop Tim Fairbrother was “an outcast Kiwi … who plods around the field”, while utility back Mark Bartholomeusz had a “ridiculously receding hairline and is looking for sponsorship for that space”. Ouch. 

Growden reckons in the sheds after the game, many fuming players wanted Perkins’s Queenstown address. 

Too late, lads. He has left Queenstown for Brisbane where he’s lining up a bookie gig and may pitch up as the Gold Coast AFL team’s kicking coach. 

But don’t worry Queenstown – Perkins will continue to write his oddball but insightful Super 14 match previews for Mountain Scene from afar.