Hit-up hits head­lines

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By BEN ROGERS

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.

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