Touch: Cousins score surprise MVP awards

By Shane Hurndell

Hawke's Bay cousins Ash Robinson and Mateus Marsh often produce some unexpected moves to surprise their opponents on touch fields around Hawke's Bay.

The pair got a taste of their own medicine when they were named male MVPs of their respective New Zealand under-17 and under-15 mixed development teams during this month's Australian tour.

"We didn't know there were MVP awards up for grabs so for both of the male ones to go to the only two Bay players on tour was pretty special and unexpected," Robinson said.

The Hastings Boys' High School Year 12 student, who like his cousin is a middle player, scored 13 touch downs for his team which won all nine of their games. Their campaign ended with a 6-2 win against his cousin's side.

"We took it easy on them," Robinson quipped.

"We were a bit tired after a week of playing under-19 teams like the under-17s team did," Marsh explained. Robinson, a son of former Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby winger Jason Robinson, said the week-long tour has made him hungry for more international play.

It also made him realise he has to be fitter, faster and more diligent with his nutrition.

"I love my Maccas but I won't be able to have it as often when I'm on my new nutrition plan," Robinson said.

His next international goals are to make the New Zealand under-19 boys team for the Trans Tasman Series and a New Zealand Maori side for the Indigeneous World Cup.

Robinson's Outkast Sports Club and and Hastings Boys' High School teammate Marsh was happy with the under-15 side's tour tally of five wins, two draws and two losses.

"Considering we were playing the same teams as the under-17s took on we had to be happy. There were some Australian open women's players in some of the teams we were up against," Marsh said.

He hopes to make the New Zealand under-17 boys' team which will play in Australia in October next year. Both Marsh and his cousin Robinson will get another trip to Australia in February with an open mixed team from their Outkast club.

They will have a busy calendar of touch commitments during the coming weeks. Before Christmas they will play for Te Matau a Maui teams at the Maori nationals in Ngaruawahia, for Hastings Boys' High School at the November 9-11 secondary schools nationals in Hamilton and for Hawke's Bay teams at the Central Region tournament in Palmerston North.

Their season will end with the March inter-provincial nationals.

The pair are confident their Hastings Boys' High School team will achieve a top six finish at their secondary schools nationals.

The chances are there are likely to be some more MVP awards come their way before the end of the summer.

It's fair to say their next ones won't be as unexpected as their ones across the Tasman.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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