Rugby playing triplets aim for the top
If Erana, Jamee and Chloe Te Moananui have their way, they’ll one day be the first triplets to represent New Zealand at rugby.
The 18-year-old Mt Hutt College triplets finished their school rugby careers with a win with their Mt Hutt/Ashburton College combined team in the Aoraki girls’ secondary schools’ competition earlier this month, but they’re not hanging up their boots any time soon. After nine seasons of rugby, they’ve got big dreams of going on to higher honours, and the drive and natural talent to make those dreams a reality.
They began their rugby careers in under-9s for Allenton, although one of them needed a little convincing.
Growing up watching their dad and brothers playing rugby, Jamee and Chloe were eager to give rugby a crack. Erana wasn’t so keen, she’d have preferred to play netball, but it was easier if they were playing the same sport, in the same team, at the same time. So their mum suggested maybe they should all give rugby a go, and today she remains their biggest fan, and their biggest critic.
Erana and Chloe play either prop or number eight, while Jamee moved from her preferred role of hooker out to the backline this season, playing at second-five due to an excess of forwards in this year’s Ash/Hutt team.
As you’d expect, they combine well on the field.
‘‘You can just tell by the way they are holding the ball if they’re going to hold onto it, or if they are are going to run it,’’ Chloe said.
‘‘The coaches are like ‘you all have to talk, because only the triplets have telepathy’,’’ Jamee said.
The triplets take no prisoners on the rugby field, and are surprisingly speedy. In under-11s, Erana ran into a boy on the field and gave him concussion.
‘‘And dad remembers a boy going off crying and saying girls shouldn’t be allowed to play rugby, because one of us had just smashed him,’’ Erana said.
They’re competitive, and don’t like losing, and would love to one day go on to play for the Black Ferns, although they know to get there would involve a lot of hard work. They plan to continue playing to the highest level they can, including at the upcoming South Island tournament as part of the Hanan Shield team, and hopefully one day, for their country.
Mid Canterbury’s Te Moananui triplets (from left) Chloe, Jamee and Erana, hope to one day play rugby for their country.