The chant ‘Waisake Naholo’ set the tune of the White Stripes Seven Nation Army has became a popular chat in New Zealand rugby and popular culture.
The name Kini Naholo (Waisake’s brother) could be added to the cry shortly if the Hastings Boys’ High School winger continues his dazzling form in 2017.
Naholo has scored 19 tries in the first seven matches of the season. He scored three tries against Kelston Boys’ High School, Wellington College, King’s College and Mount Albert Grammar School and doubled that tally with six in the first half against St. Pats Town on Saturday.
The only side to prevent Naholo from scoring a try thus far is St. Kentigern College, but they were beaten 15-5 as Hastings maintained their faultless start to the season.
Naholo is modest about his fast scoring start.
“It’s all about the team. The coaches are good. They teach us a good game plan and the benefits of working together.”
Naholo is from Sigatoka, Fiji and attended Cuvu College. The son of Pastor Aporosa Naholo, he migrated to New Zealand last year where he made an immediate impact. He helped Hastings to a second placed finish in the Second XV Super 8, their best result in the history of the competition.
Additionally he scored crucial tries for the First XV against Hamilton Boys’ High School, Wellington College and Napier Boys’ High School and scored three tries in the final of the Hurricanes Sevens against St. Pats Town in Palmerston North last year.
“New Zealand rugby has more structure. In Fiji it’s a bit individual. It’s been challenging here, but I am learning a lot.” Naholo states.
Hastings travel to Wellington to play Rongotai College in the last game of the Tranzit Coachlines First XV festival on Saturday before facing Lindisfarne College on May 27 and starting their defence of the Super 8 title against Palmerston North Boys’ High School on June 3. Naholo warns Hastings can improve. They beat St Pats Town 106-7!
“We didn’t play so well against St. Kent’s. We have lots to work on.”
Professional rugby teams are keen to work with Naholo. Already Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki have attempted to snaffle his services in 2018. Naholo is undecided about where he is heading just yet.
“I want to concentrate on school. If rugby doesn’t work out I want to become a PE teacher.”
Another brother Meli was in the First XV at New Plymouth Boys’ High School recently.
It’s unclear what the record for most tries in a single season of First XV rugby is, but there have been plenty of noteworthy finishers over the years. All Black wing Grant Batty scored 61 tries in 20 games for Kuranui College in 1969. He scored 112 tries in three seasons overall. John Timu scored 52 tries in 19 games for Lindisfarne College in 1987 and bagged 92 tries in 55 games. Chris Finch scored 46 tries for Otago Boys’ High School in 1992. In recent times Wellington Lions wing Malo Tuitama scored 60 tries in 37 games for Scots College. At Hastings Boys’ High School Luke Crombie had the unique distinction of scoring a try in every Super 8 game when Hastings won the title in 2004.
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