Dynamic wing Alizay Roach finished the premier rugby season on a high after achieving the most points ever in a season by a Rāhui senior player.
Alizay ended the season in dramatic fashion by kicking a penalty in extra time to seal Rāhui’s Horowhenua-Kāpiti championship win. It also added three points to his season tally, taking it to a total of 239, well clear of any previous total by a single player.
Rāhui manager Brett Karipa confirmed Alizay ended the season with 12 tries, 52 conversions and 25 penalties. He scored four tries and 42 points in Rāhui’s 102-0 rout of Levin Wanderers at Ōtaki Domain on May 7.
Alizay said “it was a good season,” commenting more on the team than his own achievements. “We had a good culture and good coaches.”
Rāhui had to fight hard against Shannon in the final at Levin Domain on July 29. Leading for most of the game, their season’s unbeaten run almost ended when Shannon scored a try between the posts to even the score at 20-20. The conversion delighted the Shannon fans with the scoreboard clock showing less than a minute to go.
Referee Sam Taylor still had a minute and a half on his watch when Rāhui restarted, pushing Shannon into their own half and forcing a penalty. Less than 10m from the touchline and a similar distance from halfway, it wasn’t going to be an easy kick.
“I was bit nervous, especially because I’d missed an earlier kick and there was a bit of banter from the Shannon supporters,” Alizays said. “But I’d been practising my kicks during the week. I was pretty pleased to see it go over.”
Ironically, Alizay’s rugby for the year might well be finished. Although picked in the original squad, he has not played in Horowhenua-Kāpiti’s representative team for the Heartland Championship.
Alizay follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Pat Roach. Pat was a fearless hooker and considered one of Rāhui’s – and Horowhenua-Kāpiti’s – great players when he took the field in the late 1940s and 1950s.