Boys fol­low­ing in fam­ily foot­steps

Mun­dub­bera play­ers show their skills at Cairns event

Central and North Burnett Times - - BURNETT SPORT - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

THERE is not a rugby club in the North Bur­nett, yet two boys from Mun­dub­bera were both stand­outs in Cairns at the state rugby tri­als.

Tes­ta­ment to their in­her­ent ball skills, Me­tali Hav­ili (MJ) and Peli Feki were out­stand­ing and led the Wide Bay U15s rugby union team.

The two boys per­formed like sea­soned rugby play­ers.

“I trav­elled with them and was so proud of their com­mit­ment and per­sonal growth dur­ing the whole ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ton­gan li­ai­son of­fi­cer Julie Tucker said.

As mem­bers of the Wide Bay team, the boys trav­elled to Cairns and at­tended the car­ni­val held over four days.

“The play­ers were valiant and fought hard to make their mark, but un­for­tu­nately weren’t able to come up with a win,” Ms Tucker said.

“The only Wide Bay points scored for the com­pe­ti­tion came off the boot of Me­tali, who kicked a penalty goal.”

In spite of their po­si­tion on the ta­ble, the two boys had a thor­oughly en­joy­able time.

“To me it didn’t mat­ter that we didn’t win the car­ni­val, what mat­tered was that we had some great rugby mo­ments and we both had some awe­some ex­pe­ri­ences,” sec­ond rower Me­tali said.

“Play­ing against lads from all over Queens­land was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and one I felt priv­i­leged to have had.”

Me­tali signed with the Cen­tral Queens­land Bushrangers and at­tended City v Coun­try Cham­pi­onships at South­port this year.

He has ac­cepted an invitation from ex-Wal­laby Paul Carozza to at­tend a Queens­land Reds Elite Tal­ent Camp dur­ing the school hol­i­days.

It was Peli’s first year play­ing union at this rep level and it is the sec­ond for Me­tali, who played last year at the state cham­pi­onships in Bris­bane.

“We didn’t play for the score and even though we didn’t win we played from the heart,” Peli said.

“Most im­por­tantly we played for each other, that was all we had.”

It was the boys’ first visit to Cairns and they fell in love with the place. Both boys are Ton­gan born, Peli from Syd­ney, Me­tali from Auck­land.

“We both come from a proud rugby her­itage with some big names in our fam­i­lies,” Peli said.

“Su­per Rugby play­ers Wy­cliffe Palu, Mark Ger­ard, Sione and To­masi Kolo are Me­tali’s cousins and my dad played for and cap­tained Tonga in his ear­lier rugby ca­reer,” he said.

Both boys also have rel­a­tives play­ing in the NRL.

Me­tali’s fam­ily home was flooded last year.

They lived in the car­a­van park till late in the year. The boys will fin­ish Year 10 this year and at­tend Bur­nett State Col­lege next year.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

PROUD PAIR: Me­tali Hav­ili (MJ) and Peli Feki played for the Wide Bay Un­der-15 rugby union team.

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