Hit-up hits headlines
SAIMON Lomaloma will be looking to balance the ledger this weekend when he takes the field in the Fox Memorial Grand Final.
The Wellington based accountant is a member of the Mt Albert Lions who take on the Pt Chevalier Pirates on Saturday in a grudge match of epic proportions.
It was the Pirates that dashed Mt Albert’s championship hopes last year in a gut-wrenching 24-22 loss.
Lomaloma makes the trip to Auckland three times a week, twice for trainings and once for game day.
‘‘It’s been quite demanding on the work-life balance with early starts and getting back to work for the morning.’’
It’s Lomaloma’s first year playing with the Lions who spotted his talent during the national domestic competition last year when he was playing for Wellington.
Lomaloma made sports headlines around the world last week after video footage of him making a massive hitup during a semifinal match with Pt Chevalier Pirates surfaced on the internet.
‘‘It was pretty funny. I got messages from friends and family overseas. I didn’t realise how much interest there would be in it.
‘‘It was a solid contact, and a real good hit that was put on. I didn’t see it till the last minute because it was in my peripheral vision.’’
Despite the hit, Lomaloma played the rest of the game and is fit to play this weekend.
The Lions have beaten the Pirates twice in the last three weeks but it will be no mean feat to beat the defending champions in the grand final.
‘‘We are going on our pre- vious two performances. We are confident, but wary of what happened last year,’’ Lomaloma says.
‘‘We need to stick to what we’ve done well.
‘‘Every week we have been building and it’s come right at the right end of the season.
‘‘The boys worked hard all season and we seem to be the strongest we have been all year.’’
The Pirates’ confidence will be high after they thrashed the Papakura Sea Eagles 56-14 in the preliminary final at the weekend.
The 27-year-old is unsure what the future holds but first and foremost wants to concentrate on winning the Fox Memorial.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed my time with the Lions this season and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the club. My passion is rugby league, not just on the field but off the field.
‘‘My aspirations lie in the governance area, I’d be keen to get on the New Zealand Rugby League Board,’’ he says.
Lomaloma is also involved in New Zealand Universities Rugby League and is eligible to play for the Fijian national side - something that he would love to do.
Raw power: Saimon Lomaloma in action for the Mt Albert Lions during this year’s Fox Memorial competition. Go online to auckland cityharbournews. co.nz to watch a video of Saimon Lomaloma run the hit-up of the season.