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 around a number of orchards in Hawke’s Bay,” Ofa stated.
Ofa, 23, has additionally executed something 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, including 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 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 was 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 a maximum of his games in the midfield but was playing the transfer to the fullback function.
“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 St John’s College, he had 3 years within the 1st XV, including an unbeaten tour of Australia in 2013. Hastings halfback Jayden Rihia became a teammate of his on that tour, becoming 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 encounter when Hastings tackle in-form unbeaten defending champions WIT Napier Old Boys Marist at Tremain Field on Saturday inside the feature spherical three conflicts.
“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. So 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 Lisa-Sipaia (Hastings).
Havelock North v MAC: three, Jacob Stephenson (Havelock); 2, Adam Blake (Havelock North); 1, Damaris Hokianga (MAC).
IBM 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 Nepa-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).