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Simon Gunn Hits Double Century
In a Kaiapoi team full of young guns, there’s still room for at least one old Gunn.
Evergreen hooker Simon Gunn recently played his 200th senior game for Kaiapoi, and now sits alongside a who’s who of club greats on the honours board.
He says after returningto the team following three years playing abroad, and after playing his 100th match in his career that began in 1997, he considered hanging up his boots.
However, the lure of the gold jersey proved too great.
Long-time team mate Matt Newton achieving the mark last year was added motivation.
“I grew up playing with guys who have achieved that milestone, and I when started there were guys like the McConchie brothers, Kevin Smith and Grant Wright who had all played 200 games,” he says.
Club sources say Simon is usually reluctant to take a breather near the end of games, and the front-rower happily agrees.
“It’s probably the era I come from, but they did drag me off for an early shower the week prior to my 200th game. It was inevitable because my brother-in-law was playing his 100th and he moved into my position.”
The Kaiapoi side has enjoyed much success during Simon’s tenure, including many North Canterbury titles.
He says each trophy is “pretty special”.
The wins in 1998 and 2000 stand out because several players came out of retirement and the side was labelled “Dad’s Army”.
In 2006, a young championship team included rising Crusaders star Matt Todd.
Last season’s last-minute win against Oxford also holds a special place for Simon.
“We’d worked hard to get a lead and were looking good for the majority of that game, but Oxford came right back and hit the lead.
“With not even a minute to go, we managed to build a team try and get over the line.”
Simon is undecided about turning out for another season.
“I’ve got three young kids and I coach the under-6 team at Kaiapoi,” he says.
“My wife’s been pretty patient, but I one of the things that’s kept me playing is that my kids enjoy coming to watch their dad play.”
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