Tawa Rugby – Back to the Top
Porirua is a hotbed of Wellington sporting talent with countless personalities enjoying success at the national and international levels. In 2020 a new generation of Porirua athletes are making waves at high school and may one day themselves become household names. College Sport Wellington went on tour to meet some of these outstanding young talents.
The Tawa College First XV is back in Premier I after beating Kapiti College 72-5 in their last grading game to secure a place in the top flight.
A week earlier Tawa was stung by Waraparia College losing by a single point on a contentious last play try.
“It was a tough game. Everyone made mistakes,” Tawa captain Joseph Afamasaga responded.
The burly prop is in his fourth season of First XV rugby and has developed a maturity and killer instinct which helps him better overcome adversity.
Capable of playing both sides of the scrum his preference is tighthead. He enjoys defense and “smack talk.”
“I love a contest, the physical stuff, scrummaging, tackling, and carrying. I’m competitive. We’ve had a long pre-season and our fitness is good,” Afamasaga said.
Tawa ran teams ragged at times in 2019. Briefly holders of the Beard Trophy they beat Porirua College convincingly in the Premier II final. George Te’o (14 tries), Sione Valu (13 tries), and Villame Tamani (10 tries) were among the leading try scorers in the capital.
Defense also proved more sturdy than usual and third-year openside Weston Sio was an integral part of that improvement.
“I work hard in the tackle and try to get turnovers,” he said.
“I like Jerry Collins. He came to Tawa College. I’m proud to play in a jersey he once wore.”
The Tawa rugby club shares facilities and often provides training support for the college. That was the case when Tawa was last in Premier I in 2015.
In 2014 Tawa enjoyed one of their best ever seasons winning Premier II and 19 from 22 matches, amassing over 700 points. That season the College was coached by Matthew Boyd, brother of former Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd. Matthew was coach of the Tawa premiers in 2013 when they won the Jubilee Cup for the first time.
Both boys expressed an interest in construction upon leaving school with Sio also entertaining thoughts of an engineering degree.
Tawa will take on St Bernard’s on Saturday in the first round of the Premier 1 Tranzit Coachlines Cup.
-Story Courtesy of College Sport Media