Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Elvin ready to mark milestone

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Chris Elvin will play his 200th game for his beloved Mount Maunganui Sports team on Saturday at Blake Park.
Chris Elvin will play his 200th game for his beloved Mount Maunganui Sports team on Saturday at Blake Park.

Chris Elvin will reach a special milestone when he leads out his beloved Mount Maunganui Sports team against Whakarewarewa at Blake Park tomorrow.

It will be 33-year-old Elvin's 200th senior match for the club he has remained loyal to since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2002.

"I am pretty proud of making the 200. It has been a goal of mine for the last few years since I stopped playing rep rugby through the grades. It hasn't been done in our club since Wilson Mellow did it a few years back and I was privileged to be there when he got his milestone," Elvin said.

"I am stoked. Obviously there are a few emotions going through but I'm trying to keep those in the back of the mind and worry about the game to start off with. I can think about that stuff afterwards obviously."

Elvin played provincial rugby for Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau but winning the Baywide Premier title twice are the highlights from his 199 games in the green jersey.

The memorable 26-23 victory over Whakarewarewa in the 2014 final is his fondest memory.

"That win really stands out from everything else because that was really quite a few years in the making. We had been building making the semis and made the final a few years but just could never crack it until 2014," Elvin said.

His coach Rodney Voullaire says not too many players reach that 200 game milestone.

"For the Mount he has been a great mentor, leader and is a definite role model. He has stuck at it here even though he has links to Maori clubs like Rangataua and Arataki. Not too many players stay at one club," Voullaire said.

"He has enjoyed every moment of it. He just absolutely loves playing rugby for the Mount."

Elvin is still one of the best loose forwards in the competition and his coach unreservedly rates him highly.

"He is one of the fittest in the team, he is one of the strongest and he can play in any position I put him in. He is a head down, bottom up player and he does the job for you which is exactly what you need out of those senior players," Voullaire said.

"He also has a good senior team leadership around him as well like Zar Lawrence and Sam Mayes who have been with him for a while now."

Mount Maunganui go into tomorrow's round four fixture one of three unbeaten sides along with Tauranga Sports and Whakatane Marist, with Whakarewarewa in sixth place after a win, loss and draw so far.

Tauranga Sports take on Greerton Marist at Tauranga Domain, Te Puke Sports are home to Rotoiti at Murray Salt Stadium, Rangataua play high-flying Whakatane Marist at Rugby Park, Opotiki host Arataki and Te Puna also travel to the Eastern Bay to play Paroa.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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