HERE’S a first for Hawke’s Bay’s optimum club rugby competition’s MVP award.
Auto Super Shoppe Hastings Rugby and Sports fullback Sakopo Ofa is the primary beekeeper to characteristic some of the weekly winners inside the 9-12 months records of the McDonald’s-Hawke’s Bay Today Club Rugby Player of the Year award.
“It’s my first complete season doing it and I’m certainly playing it. We get to tour round a number of orchards in Hawke’s Bay,” Ofa stated.
Ofa, 23, has additionally executed some thing else few gamers do inside the opposition. This season the daddy of 3 who has been within the Bay all of his existence left Maddison Trophy holders Clive to play for Hastings Rugby and Sports.
The move is paying off too. Ofa produced a player-of-the-suit overall performance, inclusive of two tries as Hastings pipped his former club 31-27 in a Tui Nash Cup 2nd spherical fixture at Elwood Park on Saturday. This saw Ofa become the second one weekly winner inside the conflict to emerge as the 2019 recipient of the award.
“I performed for Hastings Rugby and Sports throughout my JAB days so I’ve gone again to my home membership. I’ve had 5 years at Clive and I were given my blazer for fifty games after going to assist them out once they had been quick on numbers. They’ve got lots of numbers now so it’s time to go back home,” Ofa stated.
Last season he played maximum of his games in the midfield but is playing the transfer to the fullback function this season.
“Now that I’m loads fitter it is accurate too. Last year I got up to 115kgs. Now I’m down to 88kgs … I’m watching my eating, slicing down on takeaways.”
When Ofa turned into at St John’s College he had 3 years within the 1st XV which include an unbeaten tour of Australia in 2013. Hastings halfback Jayden Rihia became a teammate of his on that tour, as become Clive midfield lower back Duff Penitito.
A former Hawke’s Bay below-19 rep, Ofa has been inspired along with his Hastings team’s two performances up to now.
“We’ve were given the right leaders and coaches.”
He is predicting a close come across when Hastings tackle in-form unbeaten defending champions WIT Napier Old Boys Marist at Tremain Field on Saturday inside the feature spherical three conflict.
“It ought to be a very good sport and could go either way.”
Ofa has set a protracted-term aim of securing a berth inside the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad earlier than his career ends.
“Most folks have eyes on a Magpies jersey. It’s important I take little steps and paintings in the direction of it,” he added.
In other suits this weekend Ofa’s former crew, Tremains Andrew Clark Clive, need to record their first win of the season when they meet Tamatea at Bill Mathewson Park, unbeaten Taradale Rugby and Sports will begin as favourites in opposition to MAC at Tareha Reserve, Progressive Meats Havelock North must keep their unbeaten run after taking up Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical at Whitmore Park and Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports should pip Northfuels Central at Tamatea Park.
Best & Fairest
Hastings v Clive: 3, Sakopo Ofa (Hastings); 2, Donovan Mataira (Clive); 1, Jessie Lgsa-Sipaia (Hastings).
Havelock North v MAC: three, Jacob Stephenson (Havelock); 2, Adam Blake (Havelock North); 1, Damarus Hokianga (MAC).
NOBM v Central: three, Liam Edwards (NOBM); 2, Saia Paese (NOBM); 1, Pouvi Fatialofa (NOBM).
Pirate v Tamatea: three, Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirate); 2, Braxton Robinson (Tamatea); 1, Kane Nepe-Apatu (Pirate).
Taradale v Napier Technical: three, Junior Malielegaoi (Taradale); 2, Jordan Kupa (Taradale); 1, Elijah Martin (Tech).
Leaderboard: 5 factors: Liam Edwards (NOBM). Three: Matt Morrison, Jacob Stephenson (both Havelock North), Sakopo Ofa, Jayden Rihia (both Hastings), Tyler Symon-Burke (NOBM), Iakopo Mapu, Junior Malielegaoi (both Taradale), Tom Iosefo (MAC), Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirate).