We’ve found an extra gear says Wilbore
Prolific halfback Te Hata Wilbore has loved how his Otorohanga side has responded to pressure.
Heading into today’s Waikato premier club rugby final against Hamilton Old Boys at Waikato Stadium, Wilbore has led all scorers in the second round with 81 points and helped propel his side to where they are 80 minutes away from a possible title.
The taste of success wasn’t instant for Otorohanga however, after losses to Hautapu, Hamilton Marist and Melville to begin round two.
‘‘When our backs are against the wall, we find something a little bit extra as a team,’’ Wilbore said.
‘‘We weren’t too far off those teams but that added pressure of having to win to make the finals just kicked us into gear.’’
Since the competition restarted under its new format, Wilbore has been a vital part of Otorohanga’s success, scoring four tries and being in sublime goal-kicking form.
‘‘I hurt my foot there for a little bit, so I wasn’t taking any kicks but once it healed up I was good to go and I’ve been hitting them pretty well,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s more about the result for the team, rather than my form, but yeah I’m pretty happy with myself.’’
Three years ago Wilbore needed a change in lifestyle, so he moved from small town Opotiki in the Bay Of Plenty to small town Otorohanga in the Waikato.
He was convinced to make the move by his twin brother Te Amo, who had moved to Hamilton a year earlier and was playing for Otorohanga with the brothers’ high school mate Dylan Collier.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed the move. I got given my blazer a couple of weeks ago and that meant a lot to me, I’ve made heaps of good mates here.’’
Wilbore has previously attended NZRU and Chiefs development camps and played for King Country in the Heartland Championship.
He said the Waikato premier club rugby competition is a good one.
‘‘All the teams are pretty competitive and anyone can beat anyone on their day.
‘‘You get to play against a few Chiefs on the odd occasion too, which you hope for and so it’s quite a good level of play.’’
They might come up against a Chief or two today but Wilbore had already identified his danger men.
‘‘Most of their backs are pretty sharp but probably Tuva [Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara] especially. I played with him in King Country. He’s pretty good and Sevu [Reece] too,’’ Wilbore said.
He also praised his team-mates, top try-scorer Sonivalati Ramuwa and centre Eseroma Nabalawa, but made special mention of his forwards.
‘‘We figured out how we wanted to play, not spinning it too wide too early, getting good go forward first and earning the right to go wide and our forwards have been playing mean for months now.’’