Simply red, simply the best

FITTING TRIBUTE: Poverty Bay board member and 102-cap Poverty Bay player Jamie Hutana (right) presents Sione Ngatu with the Mauri Trophy on behalf of all current and former players during Sione’s 14-year Bay career. Bay chief executive Marty Davis said the trophy was “a totally fitting acknowledgement of Sione’s contribution to his club (Ngatapa) and the Bay”. Picture by Paul Rickard
SPORTSMAN: Sione Ngatu in action. Picture by Paul Rickard
FAMILY MAN: Sione Ngatu was presented with a red blazer to commemorate his 150th appearance, against North Otago in Oamaru last week. Sione was joined by wife Anita (fourth from left), daughter Lavinia (left), daughter Serenity (third left) and niece Vision Leaf (right) for the cutting of a cake in his honour after Saturday’s Heartland Championship match against King Country. Picture supplied

POVERTY Bay’s man of steel Sione Ngatu was reduced to tears following Saturday’s Heartland Championship clash against King Country at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The 36-year-old held his emotions in check when presented with the Mauri Trophy and framed Ngatapa and Bay jerseys after the 43-19 win.

He kept his composure when presented with a red blazer at the Gisborne Park Golf Club rooms at a function following the game. Sione stayed composed as 102-cap Poverty Bay player Jamie Hutana, with support from Sione’s teammates, launched into an emotionally charged haka.

Then came the time for the Electrinet machinery operator to reply . . . and that’s when the tears flowed. As his family gathered around him, he thanked all those, especially his family, who had supported him since he arrived in Gisborne in 2003.

Then came the understatement of the year: “I really don’t like making speeches”.

“I had to make one last week and now this week. That’s too much for my liking. Hopefully I won’t have to do any more after this.”

Hutana said he was privileged to have played alongside Sione in his 50th game for the Bay and presented him with his jersey on his 100th. Now he was honoured to present Sione with the Mauri Trophy on behalf of former and current players, coaches and management.

Bay and Ngatapa life member Grant Allen said 151 games for the Bay was “a fantastic effort, from a fantastic player” for Ngatapa and the Bay.

“It’s a contribution he (Sione) should be proud of,” Allen said.

“But he’s a humble man who doesn’t like talking about himself.”

When asked if he (Ngatu) had any thoughts of retiring, he laughed and said: “You’ll have to ask Anita and the girl. Playing club and rep rugby means a lot of time away from the family.”

The occasion attracted the second biggest crowd of the season. The biggest was the Queen’s Birthday game against Ngati Porou East Coast.

Bay chief executive Marty Davis said the match and result provided an appropriate conclusion to the local home season, with sponsors and volunteers being acknowledged during the day’s festivities.

The Bay have one, possibly two or three games remaining. If they beat Thames Valley on Saturday they will book a spot in the Lochore Cup semfinals.

Another win would put them into the final of the cup, and give them the chance to win it a fifth time. They won it in 2006, ’07, ’08 and ’11.

POVERTY Bay’s man of steel Sione Ngatu was reduced to tears following Saturday’s Heartland Championship clash against King Country at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The 36-year-old held his emotions in check when presented with the Mauri Trophy and framed Ngatapa and Bay jerseys after the 43-19 win.

He kept his composure when presented with a red blazer at the Gisborne Park Golf Club rooms at a function following the game. Sione stayed composed as 102-cap Poverty Bay player Jamie Hutana, with support from Sione’s teammates, launched into an emotionally charged haka.

Then came the time for the Electrinet machinery operator to reply . . . and that’s when the tears flowed. As his family gathered around him, he thanked all those, especially his family, who had supported him since he arrived in Gisborne in 2003.

Then came the understatement of the year: “I really don’t like making speeches”.

“I had to make one last week and now this week. That’s too much for my liking. Hopefully I won’t have to do any more after this.”

Hutana said he was privileged to have played alongside Sione in his 50th game for the Bay and presented him with his jersey on his 100th. Now he was honoured to present Sione with the Mauri Trophy on behalf of former and current players, coaches and management.

Bay and Ngatapa life member Grant Allen said 151 games for the Bay was “a fantastic effort, from a fantastic player” for Ngatapa and the Bay.

“It’s a contribution he (Sione) should be proud of,” Allen said.

“But he’s a humble man who doesn’t like talking about himself.”

When asked if he (Ngatu) had any thoughts of retiring, he laughed and said: “You’ll have to ask Anita and the girl. Playing club and rep rugby means a lot of time away from the family.”

The occasion attracted the second biggest crowd of the season. The biggest was the Queen’s Birthday game against Ngati Porou East Coast.

Bay chief executive Marty Davis said the match and result provided an appropriate conclusion to the local home season, with sponsors and volunteers being acknowledged during the day’s festivities.

The Bay have one, possibly two or three games remaining. If they beat Thames Valley on Saturday they will book a spot in the Lochore Cup semfinals.

Another win would put them into the final of the cup, and give them the chance to win it a fifth time. They won it in 2006, ’07, ’08 and ’11.

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