Fourth MVP for Ag­gie Dean

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ag­gie Dean’s get­ting to the stage with her cho­sen sport, flag foot­ball, that there’s noth­ing left for her to win.

The Porirua mum-of-three, a Welling­ton and New Zealand rep­re­sen­ta­tive, won her fourth con­sec­u­tive MVP ti­tle in the open mixed grade at na­tion­als ear­lier this month. Her Welling­ton side, made up mostly of flag play­ers from Porirua, took out the ti­tle af­ter a hard-fought fi­nal against tra­di­tional ri­vals Coun­ties.

Her brother-in-law, AJ Va’alepu, took out the men’s MVP for the grade, helped no doubt by a scorch­ing length-ofthe-field try in the fi­nal.

It was Dean’s fifth trip to na­tion­als, held this year in Orewa. A lot of fundrais­ing had to oc­cur for them to get there, which she puts down to the or­gan­i­sa­tion of Aimee Su­to­rius. She says they are a team that works well to­gether, helped by the fact many of them are re­lated.

‘‘We went up there to win and it was an awe­some team, there was good bond­ing. We all know each other, we’ve been to­gether a while, it’s a real fam­ily team. A lot of peo­ple came out to sup­port us in Auck­land too. It was an awe­some feel­ing to have all those peo­ple on the side­line when we won.’’

Al­though very ex­pe­ri­enced, Dean still ad­mits sur­prise in re­ceiv­ing MVP hon­ours. She says her talk­a­tive na­ture on the field might have some­thing to do with it.

‘‘I’m the loud­mouth of the team, I try to gee ev­ery­one up and keep the en­ergy up.’’

There’s full agree­ment from Va’alepu, a North­ern United premier rugby player, who was up at na­tion­als for the sec­ond time. He says flag con­tin­ues to grow in pop­u­lar­ity in Porirua and is a great way to stay fit in the sum­mer, for all lev­els of rugby and league play­ers.

At na­tion­als, af­ter cruis­ing through pool play, the play­off and into the fi­nal, the Welling­ton side were un­der early pres­sure from Coun­ties. Their ri­vals took a 4-1 lead into the break but Dean and Va’alepu says there was never any panic and the 6-4 fi­nal score was a tes­ta­ment to their re­silience.

Also at Orewa, the Welling­ton un­der-17s mixed grade took out their fi­nal, show­ing the next gen­er­a­tion is step­ping up.

Dean’s sum­mer of sport has not fin­ished yet. She’s rep­re­sent­ing Welling­ton in touch in Christchurch next week. Then, in March, she will pull on her coun­try’s colours for a fivetest flag foot­ball se­ries against Aus­tralia in Auck­land.

Flag­ging ex­cel­lence: Ag­gie Dean and AJ Va’alepu are among a tal­ented pool of rugby, touch and flag play­ers in Porirua.

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