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Ōtaki colleges first XV revived


The first college 1st XV rugby team for eight years in Ōtaki is taking the field this season in the Wellington secondary schools competition.

Combining players from Ōtaki College, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rito, and Te Kura-ā-Iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, the team wears the colours of Rāhui Rugby Club. It’s captained by Ōtaki College lock Lewis Case.

TRY TIME: Blindside flanker Makaire Kanavatoa crosses to score for Te Kura Rāhui against a Hutt Valley High School 2nds team at Ōtaki Domain on Saturday (May 7). Te Kura players were wearing their new playing strip for the first time in a competition game. 

Photo Ian Carson

In the first grading game of the season at Ōtaki Domain on Saturday (May 7), Te Kura Rāhui had a strong win against a Hutt Valley High School 2nd XV. Te Kura won the game comfortably 33-10, but coach Clarence Enoka says the team could have piled on many more points.

“We butchered three or four tries,” he says. “It was a good first half, but then we lost a bit of shape under pressure in the second. 

“There were options out wide that we just didn’t take.”

Clarence says he and fellow coaches Ed Wallace and Gus Housiaux want to see their team playing open rugby.

“I like to see them putting the ball and themselves into space, rather than just running at the opposion,” Clarence says. 

Te Kura have two more grading games before it’s confirmed in which grade they will play. 

The team has been helped with significant sponsorship to start the season.  About $7500 has been raised from local businesses.

It’s allowed the team to have not only a new playing uniform of jersey, shorts and socks, but also a  warm-up strip and sports bags, and dress shirt and tie. A video system is also being bought so coaches can analyse team and individual performances from games and training sessions.

Gus Housiaux says the players are proud of their uniform.

“In the past, in other grades, our boys have faced some of the big Wellington college teams that have been fully kitted out with college blazers and so on,” he says. “Now we can show up looking smart.”

In a letter to potential sponsors, team management said it felt passionately about providing opportunities for its young players to excel in rugby, “and we would welcome your support to help us achieve our mission of providing all our youth from all backgrounds in our community with the opportunity to play rugby”. 

“Our goal is to advance our players’ skills and to help them build important lifelong skills such as discipline, strategic thinking and goal setting, as well as leadership.  Rugby is an awesome way to engage kids in a productive way.”

Last year’s U15 Te Kura Rāhui team, which included several of the players in this year’s first XV,  made the 2021 finals in its grade.

Meantime, in the premier game at Ōtaki Domain on May 7, Rāhui lost its first game of the season, 15-19 to Waikanae.

Te Kura Rāhui sponsors this year include Creative Sign Co, Curtain Easy, CWS Scaffolding, Fenwick Accounting, Fox Contracting, GJ Gardner Kāpiti, Goodmans, Main Street Bakery, Marlan Trading, Matta Products, Nu Look Kāpiti, Rasmac Contractors, Tall Poppy Ōtaki, Watson’s Garden, and Xtreme Plasterers.

Ōtaki colleges first XV revived



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