MPs and ex AB’s face-off for flood-affected farmers

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Radio host turned MC Phill Hooper speaks to dairy farmer Josh Dondertman during the flood-affected farmers fundraiser rugby game in Ashburton.

Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust board chairman, and dairy farmer, Josh Dondertman took to the field with some of New Zealand’s former top rugby talent and members of parliament in Ashburton last weekend in a fundraising rugby match for flood-affected farmers.

Fonterra team captain and Mid Canterbury representative Jon Dampney (centre) alongside team mate former All Black Aaron Mauger (at right) ready for the ball to be released by their opposition.

Dondertman was in the Fonterra Good Together team playing against the New Zealand Parliamentary Rugby Team which included MPs Michael Woodhouse, Kieran McAnulty and Mark Mitchell at the Ashburton Showgrounds.

Tough call…MP Mark Mitchell watches as fellow MP Kieran McAnulty gets a yellow card from the referee during the game.
Willy Lowe, of the Fonterra Good Together Team gets the ball out.

Fonterra not only won 51-10 but they also gave $50,000 to Rural Support Trust and had a host of sponsors come on board to help boost the event for those attending.

On field fun for children and adults during each quarter of the game included a running race, gumboot throw, kicking the ball into the back of a ute and a quiz.

Giveaways for those there included food and drink, gumboots, tee-shirts and valuable farm supplies.

Ashburton District mayor Neil Brown tries kicking the ball into the back of a ute, watched by FMG Young Farmer of the Year Jake Jarman (at left with ball).

And Rural Support Trust also benefitted from Case IH who sponsored cash for every point scored during the game, and Manaakitanga Feed and Seed organisers also took the opportunity to hand over $60,000 raised through their Givealittle page.

The Fonterra team was coached by Scott Robertson, and included ex-All Blacks Aaron Mauger and Casey Laulala, Mid Canterbury rugby representatives Jon Dampney and Jason Rickard and a host of local rugby talent.

Sideline watching the game was agriculture minister Damien O’Connor, Rangitata MP Jo Luxton and Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg and Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell.

Radio host Phill Hooper stepped up to the mic as MC.

Fonterra coach Scott Robertson (centre) and Josh Dondertman watch the action on the field from the sideline.