Heartland Championship 
October 7, 2017, 2:30 pm
Poverty Bay RFU
43 - 29
King Country
Gisborne
Poverty Bay RFU
Referee: Mr.R.J.M.Gordon

Match Report

October 9, 2017 SIONE Ngatu celebrated his 151st game for Poverty Bay with a try in their 43-29 win against King Country at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Sione Ngatu played his 150th game for Poverty Bay last week.
Oct 6, 2017 http://gisborneherald.co.nz/

Sione Ngatu played his 150th game for Poverty Bay last week.

But the Bay were in Oamaru playing North Otago, so Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union will acknowledge the milestone tomorrow when LeaderBrand Poverty Bay play King Country at Gisborne’s Rugby Park. The union has invited coaches, managers, administrators and players from Ngatu’s 14-year Poverty Bay rugby career to be guests along with sponsors, volunteers and supporters at a post-match function at Gisborne Park Golf Club.

“We want to honour Sione’s loyalty and longevity,” Bay chief executive Marty Davis said.

“Fourteen years, 151 games, 16 tries . . . it’s a fantastic achevement.”

Ngatu’s milestone is unlikely to be overtaken. At 36, he is one of the fittest players in the district and could add considerably to his total.

He passed the late Robbie Newlands’ record of 131 games in 2015.

The late Tony Hyland was the first coach to pick Ngatu for the Bay — it was a 17-14 loss to Ngati Porou East Coast on August 9, 2003.

Since then, Kiwi Searancke (2004/05), Paul Feeney (2006/07/08), Grainger Heikell (2009/10/11/12) Mutu Ngarimu (2013/14/15/16) and Mana Otai (2017) have all selected Ngatu.

Ngarimu was the first to pick Ngatu as a prop, in 2014, after 121 games as a flanker.

As All Black legend Ian Kirkpatrick said: “That in itself speaks volumes about Sione”. 

“It’s not easy to change from being a flanker all your career to propping, which is a specialist position with a different set of skills required,” Kirkpatrick said.

Ngatu made his debut for Ngatapa — along with fellow Tongans Aleki Kolo, Petelo Piliu and Mosese Paunga — on May 26, 2003, when Ngatapa upset premier leaders YMP 29-20.

The 22-year-old, then a loosie, came on with 15 minutes to go and, except when injured, has been a permanent fixture in the green-and-whites and Bay teams ever since. Davis said the day would start with a match at 12 noon between the Turanganui a Kiwa under-23 Maori team and a Pasifika selection “with free admission for anyone in national dress and Poverty Bay colours”.

“At halftime, during the Heartland game, we will introduce members of the Bay team from 1977, celebrating 40 years on. “There will be a presentation to Sione from PBRFU and Ngatapa at the end of the game. “Then, at the golf club, there will be another presentation to Sione from the Poverty Bay rugby fraternity.”

Ngatu is a man of few words. When he speaks it is all about family, friends, coaches, teammates and supporters. “I owe them all for their support and belief in me, especially all the coaches who have continued to pick me. “I also owe a big vote of thanks to our physio — Mike Evans — who has kept me on the field every week. 

“After every game the body is sore and then I come to training and Mike gets me ready for another game.”

Lineup

Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
1
2
3
4
5
6 1
7
8 1 3 1
9
10
11 1
12 1
13
14
15

Subs

Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23 1 1