Young Tony Solomona one to watch
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.’’
Tony Solomona is excelling for Norths and will likely pull on a Wellington jersey this winter.