College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand
"Next Job" has became a popular and effective catchphrase in the St. Andrew's College First XV. Centre Raymond Nu'u explains exactly what it means.
"It's about not dwelling on mistakes. It's about taking each job within a game one step at a time. It's about not looking too far ahead of ourselves," he says.
So far St. Andrew's have completed ten jobs in the UC Championship successfully. They are unbeaten in that many games and have scored an impressive 72 tries. Last year St. Andrew's couldn't even win the Plate, what has changed?
"We have a really good team bond this year. I have been in the team for three years and we have never been so close."
"Rodney McIntosh has come on board as Rugby director. He has added some new systems to freshen things up," Nu'u says.
Paintball, parent barbecues and a trip to Castlepoint are among the off field activities that have brought the team closer together, but McIntosh has been a vital piece of the jigsaw.
A former Waikato centre and Hong Kong international, McIntosh has taught in France and brings vast experience to St. Andrew's.
"We are lucky to have Rodney. He is very knowledgeable and honest", Nu'u says.
Former national sprint champion and Canterbury wing Joe Leota is another experienced campaigner. He has been coaching at St. Andrew's since 2007 and is a real mentor for Nu'u.
"He is a really good college man and because he and I are Samoan we are able to relate to each other on a real personal level. He has helped Richie Mo'unga and Telusa Veainu play for the Crusaders and that's really inspiring to me."
Nu'u made his First XV debut in 2013. He explains the anxiety that gripped him.
"My debut was against St. Thomas who had some big boys. I had to lead the haka and it was a new haka. I nearly stuffed it up and didn't play very well. Luckily I have played every game since."
Nu'u is a hard running centre who is approaching nearly 50 games for the First XV. He has been selected in the Crusaders Knights under-18's two years in a row and has scored 11 tries in the UC Championship this season.
However the game in which St. Andrew's failed to score a try is his favourite so far this season.
"We beat St. Bede's 12-9 and Sam Gilbert kicked really well, slotting all four penalties. I hardly touched the ball, but we had to defend hard that day. I remember the first time I played St. Bede's, it was a game after my debut and they pumped us. It was really intimating, they had the chainsaw going and everything."
This weekend St. Andrew's play Christchurch Boys' High School in a top of the table clash. Christchurch have won 27 UC Championship games in a row and haven't lost to St. Andrew's since 2003.
Why will 2015 be different?
"All the pressure is on them. They are the defending champions and no one expects us to win, but if we play our game I believe we can," Nu'u says.
Apart from Nu'u, St. Andrew's have many other threats. They have converted 57 of 72 tries compared with Christchurch's 42 of 86. In a close game goal-kicking could be vital.
Wing Harry Murray has scored 14 tries and in Harrison Allen (105kg) Nathan Tanuvasa (134kg) and Henry Millar (100kg) they have plenty of size up front.
He’s conquered New Zealand in his age group, now he’s eyeing the world when he competes for the first time at the XTERRA off-road world triathlon championships in Hawaii at the end of October.
Hayden, Year 13 and deputy head boy at Trident High School, is the current Australasian U19 multisport champion and the New Zealand U23 XTERRA champion. He recently finished fourth in the New Zealand senior multisport championship event behind fellow Whakatane local and last year’s Coast to Coast runner-up Sam Clark and accomplished multisporter Richard Ussher.
Like Hayden’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/www.Haydenwildemultisporter.nz?fref=ts and support him as he builds towards Hawaii.
Hayden has a busy and exciting few months ahead. College Sport Media caught up with him for a chat.
You’re off to the XTERRA World Championship race in Maui, Hawaii at the end of October – is that the next major race you are preparing for?
Yes I am off to Hawaii for XTERRA worlds. It will also only be my second XTERRA race too and also my Second triathlon as my main sport is multisport. But my next major event is a mountain race in Queensland in Australia with the New Zealand team at the end of July. Also, when I get back from Hawaii I’ll be staying in Auckland for two days then flying to Australia for a massive multisport race call the Act-Belong-Commit Augusta Adventure race, with the New Zealand multisport team.
Have you represented New Zealand before and what are your expectations?
No I haven’t represented New Zealand yet, so I’m very excited to do so as this is pretty much my first year doing triathlon and multisport. I am hoping to go very well in Hawaii and I will be very chuffed for a top placing and also just honoured do represent New Zealand in this race.
It’s an expensive sport, plus all the travelling – are you funding yourself?
Sport New Zealand does not help out with the money side of things, so at the moment I have two jobs in the school holidays working on an orchard and in a local shop that sponsors me, Soul Organics. It is only affecting my training a little but I guess you have to do what you have to do to get the big stage.
I have sponsors that help me such as the local businesses in Whakatane, such as Soul Organics Foot Mechanics, and a lot of help from Whakatane Cycle Centre and the bigger companies Stellar kayaks and Thule.
What events have you already competed in this year and how did you perform in these?
This year I have done the Waihi Nugget, winning overall, winning the U19 Australasian multisport title XTERRA U23 championships and the Maungatautari Mission, winning overall. I’ve also done four half marathons, winning the U21 category in each, with a best time of 1 hour 10.
In multisport/triathlon, what is your best discipline?
My best leg is running as I was a runner before I started XTERRA and multisport. Then it would have to be my cycling and then kayaking and swimming. I have improved in my kayaking and swimming, so I’m very happy about that.
How did you get in into your sport?
I was just your tubby little 9-10 year old that played soccer and then my teachers, Helen Dobbin and Stewart Wylds got me into running and then multisport. I also had help from my uncle as he was a runner and biker and it started from there three years ago.
What was the first race you won?
My first race I won in my age group as the Kawarau half marathon, but my first win overall was the Waihi Nugget.
Do you play other sports?
Yes, I am the captain of the Trident High School First XI hockey team.
What does a typical week’s training consist of?
Overall I am training over 14 hours a week, and balancing work, school and my sports team as well. It gets hard sometimes!
During the school term, how are you juggling all of this?
I try to do as much of my training as I can in the morning and also right after school. But if I am getting behind on school work I normally have a rest day and do it then. If I am working on a specific day I will do all my training in the morning.
You’re doing NCEA Level 3 this year, how’s that going?
At the moment my studies are going really well as I have not dropped a credit and my assessments have all be going well.
What’s coming up for you in the summer? Would you be keen on giving the Coast to Coast a crack?
I have not been in the Coast to Coast before but I am 100% sure that I will be making my first appearance there next year. First I am looking to take on the two-day then the year after that I will be taking on the one-day race. The reason why I am doing the two-day and not the one-day is to see what it’s like and then when I hit the big race I want to feel good comfortable and be ready to compete in that at the best of my ability.
What’s on the cards next year?
I am trying to get a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship at Waikato University, studying sports and teaching or something similar. But I am also very tempted to give fulltime sport a crack, moving to Greymouth with my uncle and working for him to get some money rolling in and do some high quality training.
What’s the influence of other people in your sport, such as Whakatane local Sam Clark?
To me I look up to Sam as he is one of the best and I have trained with him and also raced with him, and I push myself to be like him being one of the best. But really I could not do this without the support of the people from Whakatane as up here we love this sport and we have so many legends of the sport and I am very humbled to be getting help from not only the best in multisport or triathlon, but kayaking, mountain biking and running.
Do you know Richard Ussher? What was it like to race against him at the 3D event recently?
Racing against Richard is awesome, he is such a legend and I was honoured to race against him in the 3D. Sadly, I came out of my kayak and if I stayed in I could have beaten him as I was only 20 seconds behind him at the end. But to be honest I did not mind not beating him as I was just so excited I was that close to him in the race!
Last year Brett Cameron from Cullinane College raised eyebrows when he was named in the New Zealand Secondary Schools' training squad.
The first-five from a small college in Wanganui excelled in an area where top class competition is often lacking.
In 2015 there is another promising prospect on the representative radar in Wanganui.
Stephen Perofeta attends Wanganui Collegiate School and has just been named in the Hurricanes under-18 training squad.
"I can't wait. The chance to test myself against the best is really exciting," the softly spoken Samoan says.
In purist of stiffer opposition Perofeta actually switched schools' within his own region.
"I was at Wanganui High School, but left in 2013 when I was offered a scholarship to Collegiate. I left because I wanted to play harder rugby," he says.
"I made the First XV at High School in Year 10 and found the going tough. The Central North Island competition at Collegiate is a big draw card."
Ironically Collegiate lost to High School in the annual traditional that year, but Collegiate beat five Central North Island opposition in 2013.
Perofeta scored two tries in the narrow 19-15 win over Rathkeale College, but he says the win over Feilding High School was a major highlight.
Perofeta along with Nick Cave, Joe Edwards and Te Atuere Albert scored tries as Feilding was flogged 24-10.
"It was wet and Feilding are always a good side. Our forwards really stood up that day and to win like we did was really exciting," Perofeta says.
Wanganui have only won two games in the Central North Island series in the last two years. Perofeta has played 45 games for First XV and impressed with his quality, so much so he has represented New Zealand in touch.
Tyler Scott is a former player and current manager of the First XV, he speaks highly of Perofeta.
"Stephen is incredibly modest about his ability on a rugby field. He never talks himself up to anybody. He has completely out played many opponents, but does not speak a bad word about any of them. A word to describe him would be selfless. He puts everybody before himself."
Perofeta has the ability to score big. Last year he scored all 17 points in a narrow defeat to Lindisfarne College.
This season he has scored 28 points against Te Aute College and 27 against Hato Paora College.
Perofeta says his goal for the remainder of the season is to "challenge himself," and "help his team."
Wairarapa College First XV captain Bruce Kauika-Petersen was so immersed in the heat of battle on Saturday he lost track of the score.
Wellington College was down, but rallying hard. Kauika-Petersen recalls the last-minute of their Premier One clash.
"We were defending our goal line thinking we were ahead by seven when they scored. They popped over a quick drop goal and the referee blew fulltime. We thought it was a draw, but our prop yelled to me, 'We won.'"
"We saw their heads drop and couldn't believe we had won. I can't believe our prop was the only one who knew the score."
Wairarapa College: 27, Wellington College: 24 is an extraordinary result for a team in their first season Premier One rugby. Wellington College is a traditional heavyweight!
What is happening in the Wairarapa?
"We have been building for while," Kauika-Petersen says.
"The rugby culture has really changed at the school. We have a more professional approach. Our coach Mr. Senior puts in a lot of effort with pre-season training, video analysis and diets," he says.
Wairarapa College had been seeking a place in Premier One for several years. Between 2013 and 2014 they won 35 out of 45 games, including Premier Two in 2013. Wairarapa achieved 18 victories over capital based first fifteens in this period.
This season they were granted the right to play in the grading round for the top grade and duly won three games to earn their place.
On Saturday they led Wellington College 20-0 at halftime. Kauika-Petersen describes the early action.
"The first ten minutes was a stalemate, but then we made a couple of breaks and our confidence grew. We know if we stick to the game plan we can challenge anybody. We scored three tries."
What was the game plan?
"We wanted to dominate up front and get quick ball to our backs."
Kauika-Petersen tried to keep his excited team claim at halftime, but it didn't really work.
"Some of the junior players had big smiles on their faces. I warned them it would be tough to win. It would be fair to say Wellington dominated the second-half, they scored four tries, but I am proud we hung in."
Kauika-Petersen, Chester Rothery, Cam Ravenwood and Croydon Hall scored tries in a result that was a genuine shock. Coach Chris Senior says Kauika-Petersen is a vital part of the new rugby culture at Wairarapa.
"He just played his 57th game on Saturday. He is a dynamic player, who possess outstanding ball skills and vision. He spent the whole summer playing for the Wairarapa Bush sevens team and went to nationals with them. He is a positive role model to all our young boys, teaching them the importance of nutrition and training."
Kauika-Petersen started playing rugby when he was ten after a back ground in football. He has always played on the flanks after his Mum told him to "chase the ball."
For a second consecutive year he has been selected for the Hurricanes Under-18 camp, but won't attend this year as he is in Australia with the First XV.
Kauika-Petersen plans to study in Palmerston North next year. Surprisingly beating Wellington College is not the biggest highlight of his First XV career. Kauika-Petersen shares the story about the presentation of his 50th cap.
"I thought I was only going to get a certificate for my 50th game when at most schools you get a cap. Sir Brian Lochore came to our dressing room on the occasion of my 50th game to present the jerseys. He then presented me with a cap and that was a huge honour."
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand