By Matt MclLraith, Assistant Editor, 'Rugby News' 

THE SOUND OF breading records has become a familiar tone following the North Otago rugby team this season, as they have swept all before them in the third division of the Air New Zealand NPC. 

Literally, they have been shattering all over the place!  And ink a plenty has been needed for the great book of North Otago rugby, as chapter after chapter has been re-written by the current crop of 'Old Golds'. 

Certainly the North Otago name is now one to be feared o the rugby paddock, and one only has to peruse the list of new records that have been established this season to see why. 

For starters, North Otago 's six straight wins during the preliminary rounds of the competition is a new union record - both for the NPC - and in all matches played by North Otago. 

In fact, added to the Hanan Shield triumph over South Canterbury at the beginning of August, the team won seven matches on the trot. 

The NPC record alone is mind-blowing, considering North Otago had never before won two NPC matches in a row. 

This season, North Otago has secured its first ever wins in NPC matches in the North Island, while notable first wins in NPC clashes have come against Mid-Canterbury, Poverty Bay, Marlborough and Buller. 

And in scoring 54 points against Buller at Carisbrook, North Otago posted a half century of points for the first time in the union's history. 

The team's 236 points and 29 tries have also established new marks that are unlikely to be broken in a hurry. 

And a few records have fallen by the wayside at an individual level too. 

First-five Chris Finch has cracked the century of points in representative play this season 

And his tally of 98 is not too far off the third division record of 136, which is jointly held by South Canterbury's Barry Fairbrother and Mid-Canterbury's Steve Middleton. 

Meanwhile captain Ross Skinner's six tries are also a record for North Otago in the NPC. 

Skinner's deeds this season have also made him the most prolific tryscorer in North Otago's history with 16. 

And should North Otago qualify for next week's final, the North Otago skipper will make his 49th appearance for the union in the championship decider. 

But regardless of the outcome today - and next weekend's grand final, should North Otago beat Horowhenua-Kapiti - the deeds of the class of '97 are set in stone. 

And isn't it refreshing to hear North Otago rugby name been talked about nationally in such a positive light for a change! 

Waitaki Web