There wouldn’t be many schoolboy sportsmen in New Zealand busier than Taine Wattie from Rosmini College. The North Harbour age group rugby and basketball representative trains 12 times a week with the First XV and First V basketball teams. All winter Wattie has been playing basketball on a Friday night and rugby on a Saturday afternoon.
Rosmini were the defending 1A rugby champions heading into the semi-finals against Massey High School on the weekend. Despite beating Massey twice in the round-robin, Rosmini stumbled 13-11. Obviously the defeat is a disappointment, but Wattie achieved plenty in rugby.
The robust midfielder helped Rosmini win their first championship since 2009 last season when they toppled Westlake Boys’ High School 13-12 in the final.
“That was a great moment. Westlake had the wood on us during the season, but to tip them over in the final was awesome. To be honest I didn’t see much of the ball that night. Our forwards kept it pretty tight. It was like 76 pick and goes to 10, but I didn’t care,” Wattie fondly recalls.
Another highlight was this season’s 15-13 victory over Westlake on Land Rover First XV rugby. Connor Leather kicked all five penalties.
“The matches against Westlake are always really close and intense. Any win against them is awesome,” Wattie says.
Wattie’s dad is a representative league coach and the 13-man code is where Taine’s immediate future after school resides.
“I have played league most of my life. I will be involved with the Warriors next year. Rugby means a lot at Rosmini and I wanted to be a part of it. Mum wouldn’t let me play in Year 11, but she did in Year 12 and I have really enjoyed it,” Wattie says.
Rugby finishing doesn’t provide any respite for Wattie. This Friday he will be a key figure in the Premier Auckland basketball semi-final against Westlake Boys’ High School. Wattie has been a point guard in the schools’ top team for three years and has seen a seismic change in the culture of the side.
“We didn’t have a good season last year. A few boys turned up late or not at all to training. Dave McKay has come in as coach and he has made a huge difference,” Wattie explains.
National Champions in 2011, Rosmini started in ropey fashion dropping games against Mount Albert Grammar School (twice) and 2015 National Champions Rangitoto College. McKay shaking things up and Wattie finding fire soon reversed Rosmini’s fortunes.
Rosmini have won ten games in a row. They beat Rangitoto 82-75 with Wattie scoring 15 points. Twice they have overcome Westlake 71-63 and 98-89. The latter game went to extra time and Wattie top-scored with 23 points.
“The wins against Westlake have been great. We have played some great ball, but to win on Friday night we will have to shut down their key players. James Moors scored 37 against us last time and I don’t think he can score that many again,” Wattie believes.
Wattie was also the top scorer in the win against Kelston BHS contributing 30 points. He helped the Harbour U17’s win the National title last year and was a member of the U19 side this year. His attributes in basketball include speed, precise passing and accurate shooting.
The other semi-final features Rangitoto College against Auckland Grammar School.
P.S. Wattie has also represented New Zealand at age group level in touch.
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