Young Tony Solomona one to watch

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

Tony Solomona just wants to keep scor­ing tries.

The 12-year-old has played in sev­eral po­si­tions in the North­ern United un­der-13 Mas­tifs team’s back­line dur­ing their dom­i­nant start to the new sea­son.

He en­joys cen­tre and full­back, but it was at first-five where he made a huge state­ment against Hutt Old Boys Marist re­cently, scor­ing eight tries in a game.

Every­thing went right on the Bernie Wood Turf at As­cot Park that night.

‘‘My team played very well,’’ he said. ‘‘I scored some tries, but it was a team ef­fort.’’

The Brandon In­ter­me­di­ate pupil and his fa­ther, also Tony, said a re­cent visit to his school by Can­ter­bury Bull­dogs chief ex­ec­u­tive Rae­lene Cas­tle might open some doors in fu­ture.

‘‘It was very pro­duc­tive – we had a good chat with her and there’s been some con­tact since,’’ Tony Snr said. ‘‘If my son keeps work­ing hard and show­ing his skills, who knows? He loves rugby, but rugby league could be an op­tion.’’

Young Tony helped Brandon win an in­ter-school rugby league ti­tle last year, beat­ing Corinna School in a golden point thriller.

He is also mak­ing huge strides in athletics, which he said helped with his rugby train­ing.

Rugby is his pri­mary fo­cus, how­ever, and while win­ning games is en­joy­able, hav­ing fun with friends is important.

He has been at­tend­ing tri­als for the Welling­ton un­der-13s, whom he played for last year.

‘‘It hasn’t been easy [at the tri­als], be­cause the train­ing for Welling­ton is strict. But I like it be­cause you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing other ways of play­ing.’’

It has been a quick rise in rugby for Tony, who is into just his third year play­ing the sport. He said he en­joyed the phys­i­cal­ity and wanted to keep push­ing him­self to achieve things on the field.

He counts Richie McCaw, Rod­ney So’oialo and Nehe Mil­nerSkud­der as play­ers he as­pires to play like.

Tony Snr said the back­ing of fam­ily was al­ways cru­cial when a tal­ented sports­man or sportswoman was mak­ing their mark.

‘‘Ev­ery young per­son needs that sup­port from home to achieve his dreams and we’re do­ing what we can to get Tony where he wants to go.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Tony Solomona is ex­celling for Norths and will likely pull on a Welling­ton jersey this win­ter.

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