Rugby: Dirty work no deterrent for Watts

By Shane Hurndell


It's not uncommon for Sean Watts to get requests from workmates while on the job as an apprentice engineer to do heavy lifting.

"I get the sh** jobs which the other workers don't like doing but it's great for my rugby," Watts said after completing another day on the job at Industrial Manufacturing Services Ltd's Onekawa base in Napier.

It's a lot like his role as an openside flanker for Napier Old Boys Marist in Hawke's Bay's Nash Cup premier club competition. Watts, 18, takes risks players in other positions may not in his quest for the loose ball.

Watts' enthusiasm and high workrate as Hawke's Bay Insurances Napier Old Boys Marist beat IMS Payroll Hastings Rugby and Sports 35-24 on Saturday saw him claim player-of-the-match honours and become this season's third round winner in the Tui-Hawke's Bay Today Club Player of the Year award. The Hastings Boys' High School product hopes the display sees him become a regular starter for the side.

"No matter what team I'm in my goal is always to be in the starting line-up. I don't like being a bench-warmer," Watts said.

Watts' decision to play for NOBM surprised many pundits, considering he lives in Havelock North and the majority of his 1st XV teammates from last year linked up with the villagers.

"The NOBM club is handy to my work. There was a better chance of me getting the No 7 jersey and it's a good opportunity for me to keep playing with Joseph," Watts said referring to his Hawke's Bay age-group representative teammate Joseph Penitito.

Watts is also relishing the opportunity to learn off Hawke's Bay Magpies captain and NOBM No 8 Mike Coman.

"Mike looks after us young fellas well," Watts said.

Watts' main rugby goal this season is to crack a berth in the Hawke's Bay under-20s.

"I just have to keep playing the way I am and try hard. Hopefully I will make it."

Watts regards Brumbies and Wallabies flanker David Pocock as his hero.

Pocock is a similar type of player to Watts, not that big but he has a big heart.

Watts and his NOBM teammates have a trip to Waipukurau to take on winless Central on Saturday. He is expecting another tough time in the battle for the loose ball.

"You have to be prepared no matter which team you're up against. You underestimate any team and you won't do well," Watts added before it was time to resume work.

Best & Fairest


NOBM v Hastings Rugby and Sports:

3, Sean Watts (NOBM); 2, Peni Tokakece (Hastings); 1, Cory Simpkins (NOBM).

MAC v Tamatea:

3, Tere Joel (MAC); 2, Jeston Craig (MAC); 1, Campbell Johnstone (Tamatea).

Havelock North v Pirate:

3, Kelly Petrowski (Havelock); 2, Michael Allardice (Pirate); 1, Zane Rangi (Havelock).

Clive v Central:

3, Mark Atkins (Clive); 2, Tom Symes (Central); 1, Rob Murray (Clive).

Napier Technical v Taradale:

3, Sheridan Rangihuna (Tech); 2, Manihera Eden (Taradale); 1, Angus Benson (Tech).

LEADERBOARD

6 points:Mark Atkins (Clive), Kelly Petrowski (Havelock).

5 points:Mark Braidwood (Tech), Michael Allardice (Pirate).

3 points: James Tango (Clive), Aayden Clarke (Pirate), Adam Bradey (Havelock), Darren Deely, Sheridan Rangihuna (both Tech), Willy Schuster, Willy Benson, Tere Joel (all MAC), Hamiora Rowlands (Tamatea), Sean Watts (NOBM).

- Hawkes Bay Today

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