Feed the bear

Allen key but 22-man effort needed

Allen key but 22-man effort needed

Feed the bear is what OBM have to do to significantly boost their chances of beating top seeds Waikohu in Saturday’s Lee Bros Shield semifinal . . . the bear being former North Harbour professional Jody Allen; the food being the ball. Allen, pictured being tackled by YMP’s Reihana Wyllie (on the ground) and Jimmy Wilson, has been in sensational form since returning from playing in Spain. Pictures by Paul Rickard
Jody Allen and twin brother Juston (above) are shaping up as key players for OBM in the do-or-die semi.

RUGBY

HOW do you turn around a 30-point thumping in seven days and book a spot in Poverty Bay premier club rugby’s Lee Bros Shield final?

That’s the question Enterprise Cars OBM have to find the answer to for their top-four elimination playoff against GT Shearing Waikohu at Rugby Park (3pm kickoff) on Saturday.

Waikohu thumped OBM 45-14 in a dress rehearsal at the weekend.

“You learn from what you did wrong and what they did right,” said former Hawke’s Bay and North Harbour prop Jody Allen.

“If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s nothing is set in stone when it comes to semifinals.

“ You can lose by 40 points one week and turn up the next and guts it out, and get a result.

“But it will take a 22-man effort, especially against a team as good as Waikohu.

“We had a couple of players missing last weekend who should be back this weekend and that will help.”

Allen began his professional career 12 years ago after leaving Gisborne Boys’ High School to join the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Academy, along with twin brother Juston, who is also in the OBM side.

Juston returned to Gisborne for family reasons while Jody went on to make a name for himself with the Magpies provincial side before signing with North Harbour.

He came back to Gisborne to play for Poverty Bay in 2016, the year Harbour won promotion to the premier division of the Mitre 10 Cup national competition.

“I left for Spain at the end of that season,” said Jody. “After 12 years in the ITM and Mitre 10 Cup championships I fancied a change of scenery and signed for VARC under coach Mutu Ngarimu (of Gisborne).”

The 30-year-old spent the past two seasons with VRAC in the city of Valladolid, central Spain — winning two division de Honou titles and three other major trophies.

He loves his home town but is uncertain if he will be here for the Heartland Championship.

“I’ve still got the travel bug so at this stage I’m not sure. I would love to play in England. I love the physicality in the English game. I love the contact side of rugby.”

So why come back to Gisborne?

“I miss Gisborne, my family and friends I haven’t seen for a long time, and the bro has been in my ear about playing together before I head off again.

“We played in the same team after Juston came back from Hawke’s Bay and it’s been good playing alongside him again.

“We have a unique understanding. We seem to know where the other one is on the pitch and when to offload. He puts me into gaps and I do the same for him.

“But it’s not all about us. We have some good players at OBM and we all need to front up this weekend. We’ve got a good forward pack and we need to share the workload around — forwards and backs.”

Jody is heading towards the twilight of his career at the higher level but has no intentions of hanging up his boots just yet.

“I figure I have another five good years playing overseas and getting paid to do it. The rugby culture in Spain is very different from New Zealand but it’s coming on, and I’ve had the chance to watch some soccer.

“I was never a big fan of soccer but VRAC have a second division soccer team and I’m impressed with the skills of the players, and enjoy watching.

“With VRAC being close to Madrid, most of the rugby players support Real Madrid and it’s amazing when you read the amount of money the top players get.

“Now I understand why they get so excited when someone scores a goal. Their bonuses are unbelievable.”

The Allen boys have been playing rugby all their lives.

‘Dad (John, who died five years ago) was our first coach and back then it was all about having fun.

“It wasn’t until we went to high school that we learned the technical side of the game. By then we had the basic skills — catch and pass.

“I think sometimes coaches overdo the structural side things. You have to have structure but once you find out the weakness of the opposition, you play what’s in front of you.

“Rugby is a simple game. Get the ball down the other end of the field and score.”

RUGBY

HOW do you turn around a 30-point thumping in seven days and book a spot in Poverty Bay premier club rugby’s Lee Bros Shield final?

That’s the question Enterprise Cars OBM have to find the answer to for their top-four elimination playoff against GT Shearing Waikohu at Rugby Park (3pm kickoff) on Saturday.

Waikohu thumped OBM 45-14 in a dress rehearsal at the weekend.

“You learn from what you did wrong and what they did right,” said former Hawke’s Bay and North Harbour prop Jody Allen.

“If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s nothing is set in stone when it comes to semifinals.

“ You can lose by 40 points one week and turn up the next and guts it out, and get a result.

“But it will take a 22-man effort, especially against a team as good as Waikohu.

“We had a couple of players missing last weekend who should be back this weekend and that will help.”

Allen began his professional career 12 years ago after leaving Gisborne Boys’ High School to join the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Academy, along with twin brother Juston, who is also in the OBM side.

Juston returned to Gisborne for family reasons while Jody went on to make a name for himself with the Magpies provincial side before signing with North Harbour.

He came back to Gisborne to play for Poverty Bay in 2016, the year Harbour won promotion to the premier division of the Mitre 10 Cup national competition.

“I left for Spain at the end of that season,” said Jody. “After 12 years in the ITM and Mitre 10 Cup championships I fancied a change of scenery and signed for VARC under coach Mutu Ngarimu (of Gisborne).”

The 30-year-old spent the past two seasons with VRAC in the city of Valladolid, central Spain — winning two division de Honou titles and three other major trophies.

He loves his home town but is uncertain if he will be here for the Heartland Championship.

“I’ve still got the travel bug so at this stage I’m not sure. I would love to play in England. I love the physicality in the English game. I love the contact side of rugby.”

So why come back to Gisborne?

“I miss Gisborne, my family and friends I haven’t seen for a long time, and the bro has been in my ear about playing together before I head off again.

“We played in the same team after Juston came back from Hawke’s Bay and it’s been good playing alongside him again.

“We have a unique understanding. We seem to know where the other one is on the pitch and when to offload. He puts me into gaps and I do the same for him.

“But it’s not all about us. We have some good players at OBM and we all need to front up this weekend. We’ve got a good forward pack and we need to share the workload around — forwards and backs.”

Jody is heading towards the twilight of his career at the higher level but has no intentions of hanging up his boots just yet.

“I figure I have another five good years playing overseas and getting paid to do it. The rugby culture in Spain is very different from New Zealand but it’s coming on, and I’ve had the chance to watch some soccer.

“I was never a big fan of soccer but VRAC have a second division soccer team and I’m impressed with the skills of the players, and enjoy watching.

“With VRAC being close to Madrid, most of the rugby players support Real Madrid and it’s amazing when you read the amount of money the top players get.

“Now I understand why they get so excited when someone scores a goal. Their bonuses are unbelievable.”

The Allen boys have been playing rugby all their lives.

‘Dad (John, who died five years ago) was our first coach and back then it was all about having fun.

“It wasn’t until we went to high school that we learned the technical side of the game. By then we had the basic skills — catch and pass.

“I think sometimes coaches overdo the structural side things. You have to have structure but once you find out the weakness of the opposition, you play what’s in front of you.

“Rugby is a simple game. Get the ball down the other end of the field and score.”

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