Rugby play­ing triplets aim for the top

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

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.

ERIN TASKER/STUFF

Mid Can­ter­bury’s Te Moananui triplets (from left) Chloe, Jamee and Erana, hope to one day play rugby for their coun­try.

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