East Ta­maki rugby on high

Eastern Courier - - LOCALJOBS - ALAN APTED

‘‘I al­ways say that win­ning be­gins at the front of­fice. You get the front of­fice work­ing right, win­ning will fol­low.’’

East Ta­maki have just had a rugby sea­son to re­mem­ber.

Their pre­miers re­cently won Auck­land club rugby’s Por­tola Cup for the first time, their pre­mier de­vel­op­ment side were beaten semi-fi­nal­ists in the Peter Fa­tialofa Tro­phy, and their un­der-20s made the cham­pi­onship semis of the Chal­lenge Cup where Pa­p­a­toe­toe beat them 15-3.

It’s the first time East Ta­maki has had so many teams in­volved in play­offs and par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing has been the way the un­der-20 and de­vel­op­ment teams have per­formed.

Pres­i­dent Frances Leilua says it’s time East Ta­maki raised the bar.

‘‘It’s time to set our sights on the Gal­la­her Shield next sea­son and see how we go.

‘‘The club is happy at win­ning the Por­tola Cup for the first time and what our un­der-20 and pre­mier de­vel­op­ment sides have achieved. We have to build on this.’’

Leilua says he was al­ways con­fi­dent East Ta­maki could beat Pa­p­a­toe­toe in the Por­tola Cup fi­nal, the re­sult be­ing 31-10.

‘‘I al­ways knew the guys could do it. They trained well for the fi­nal against Pa­p­a­toe­toe who’d beaten us in the fi­nal round of the Por­tola. We blew a huge lead in that game. Lapses in con­cen­tra­tion cost us that day.’’

Leilua says the way East Ta­maki bounced back in the fi­nal is a trib­ute to coach David Usu and his coach­ing staff.

Usu says the win had a lot to do with what hap­pened off the field.

‘‘I al­ways say that win­ning be­gins at the front of­fice. You get the front of­fice work­ing right, win­ning will fol­low. This win is a re­sult of de­vel­op­ments that have hap­pened be­hind the scene.’’

He says the suc­cess of the pre­miers, pre­mier de­vel­op­ment side and the un­der-20s is ev­i­dence that play­ers who grow up in East Ta­maki and Otara need not go else­where to play their rugby.

‘‘These re­sults are en­cour­ag­ing and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to next year to see how many play­ers we can attract.’’

Usu, who has been with East Ta­maki for three years now, tapped No 8 Ge­orge Crich­ton as East Ta­maki’s most valu­able player of the fi­nals and player of the year.

Crich­ton scored four of East Ta­maki’s five tries in the fi­nal. Toe­lau Silipa got the other, and Ti­mo­teo Io­sua kicked three con­ver­sions.

DAVE MACKAY / PHOTOTEK.NZ

East Ta­maki pre­mier grade play­ers and sup­port­ers af­ter they beat Pa­p­a­toe­toe 31-10 to win club rugby’s Por­tola Cup.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.