Wednesday September 6, 2017
Top sportsmen celebrated
Player of the Year Ben Tupoloa and Labour candidate Ginny Anderson. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
Frae Wilson was the Senior Coach of the Year. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
Loane Simi, under 21 best back. PHOTO: Stuart Upton, most dedicated player for Dan Taylor under 21 team. PHOTO: Dan Taylor By Dan Whitfield
Ben Tupoloa was one of the many players from Wainuiomata Rugby Club who were celebrated at Saturday night’s prize giving ceremony. The Wainuiomata No. 8 picked up the significant status of Premier Player of the Year after contributing
to the team’s success this year. He scored nine tries this season. For the under 21 team, Stuart Upton was this year’s most dedicated player, Jerry Paku was the team’s best forward player, and Loane Simi was the best back. Rich Grace was given the under 21 team Player of the Year award.
Neil Hewitt and Pete White were recognised as life members. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
Sieni Mose also was recognised for her involvement in the women’s rugby team. The 2017 Most Valuable Player was Daniel Cherry and Caleb Nicholas was the Most Outstanding Player from the club. In terms of club representatives, Frae Wilson was named Senior
Wainui rider hopeful for next race
Wainuiomata’s Shane Richardson is back on the hunt for a top spot in the MotoAmerica Stock600 Championship. Despite a disappointing weekend at Pittsburgh International Raceway recently, which saw Shane drop back
in standings, he remains hopeful for his next race. Shane is currently sitting in fifth position after two events. He races a Kawasaki for the Palmetto Motorsports Team New Zealand in the 600cc supersport class.
Left, Jerry Paku, under 21 best forward, right, Rich Grace, under 21 Player of the Year. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
In his first race of the championship at Sonoma Raceway, he managed to finish in seventh position. The next race for the Wainuiomata rider is next weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Most Valuable Player Daniel Cherry. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
Coach of the Year. Neil Hewitt and Pete White were recognised as life members. The Wainuiomata Rugby Football Club was established in 1946 and has had a proud tradition of providing rugby union to the Wainuiomata community. The Club caters for all ages, with
junior rugby options from under 6 to 13, and senior rugby. Notable players from the club include Piri Weepu, Jonah Lomu, Tana Umaga and Neemia Tialata. Ken Laban, Greater Wellington Regional councillor, also played for Wainuiomata Rugby Club.
with Jacob Page
Auckland have no rugby muscles to flex Auckland’s thumping loss to North Harbour on Sunday has to be the last straw. Once a proud union they suffered one of the most embarrassing losses in their history 57-10. The pride in the blue and white hooped jersey is quickly evaporating and with the Blues struggling for parity in Super Rugby, questions need to be asked. Gone are the pride filled days of the 1980s when Auckland held the Ranfurly Shield on numerous occasions and a victory was celebrated jubilantly on the final whistle. Sunday was great to watch for a neutral supporter but the age old saying of “When Auckland rugby is strong, All Black rugby is strong” no longer holds any water. The Auckland schoolboy rugby scene is still strong but player
retention and pathways appear to be an issue which no-one can solve. Auckland may produce talented youngsters but the humbling experience of watching the senior team getting pumped on a regular basis says something is wrong with the province and its focus. Meanwhile, the Canterbury juggernaut continues. That is the powerhouse of rugby and the rest of the country knows it. Everyone loves backing the underdog and so it’s Canterbury who cops the disdain from outside fans once only reserved for Auckland. Hopefully pride can be restored in the jersey sooner rather than later otherwise things look bleak for the once proud hotbed of New Zealand rugby.
Published on Sep 5, 2017