Napier Old Boys Marist premier club rugby player Tyler Symon-Burke dreams about locking the Hawke's Bay Magpies scrum with Hurricane Isaia Walker-Leawere.
"We locked together in the Gisborne Boys' High School 1st XV for one season in 2015 and it would be good to link back up again in Hawke's Bay," Symon-Burke said.
However, it won't happen this year as Symon-Burke, 21, will travel to Canada at the end of the club season for a one-season stint with division one club side Westshore. But with Walker-Leawere, 22, contracted to the Magpies for the next three seasons it could happen next year or in 2021.
"I hope the overseas experience will help me grow as a person and as a player," Symon-Burke said.
A former Hurricanes Development, Hawke's Bay Academy, Hawke's Bay under-19 and Hawke's Bay Saracens representative as well as a former Hawke's Bay Magpies wider training group member, Symon-Bourke, continues to progress as a player. This was evident in his player-of-the-match display during WIT Napier Old Boys Marist's 47-17 Tui Maddison Trophy seventh round win against Progressive Meats Havelock North in Napier on Saturday.
It was a performance which made him the logical choice as the 16th weekly winner in the battle to become the 2019 recipient of the McDonald's-Hawke's Bay Today Club Rugby Player of the Year award. Symon-Burke had an extra incentive to deliver the goods as he was playing against the club he first played for during his first season in Hawke's Bay after moving down from Gisborne in 2017.
"I didn't play against the villagers in the first round so I was a bit sceptical because there is always a bit of niggle between the two clubs. I copped a lot of shit on the field but it was all good after the game," Symon-Burke explained.
During the first half the Green Machine established a 33-0 lead and Symon-Burke said the squad was adamant this was one of their best displays in recent times.
"We slacked off for a 20 minute period in the second half but were still happy with the quality 60 minutes we produced."
"I played in the Maddison Trophy final which we lost [37-7] to Clive last year. It would be good to get a winner's medal before heading off to Canada," Symon-Burke said.
"It's important we keep to our structures and do what we train. We have to aim for a consistent 80-minute effort."
The unbeaten competition leaders will host Clive in an eighth round fixture at Park Island's Tremain field on Saturday and Symon-Burke said this will be the ideal clash to aim for an 80-minute effort in.
"I love playing Clive because it is always a tight forward battle. After last year's final I was quite gutted and there was a mixture of emotions."
The Tremains Andrew Clark Clive pack boasts in-form lock Donovan Mataira who is leading this season's MVP competition so Symon-Burke can expect a tough day at the office. He is working as a builder's labourer for Smith and Son Construction Ltd and company director Paul Smith is an avid fan of the Hawke's Bay club rugby scene so Symon-Burke can expect plenty of advice during their smoko breaks as the business end of the season approaches.
Best & fairest
NOBM v Havelock North: 3, Tyler Symon-Burke (NOBM); 2, Albert Hemopo (Havelock North); 1, Pouvi Fatialofa (NOBM).
Taradale v Hastings: 3, Eru Wano (Taradale); 2, Penetana Smith (Hastings); 1, Mikaele Tapili (Taradale).
MAC v Tamatea: 3, Paula Latu (MAC); 2, Lincoln McClutchie (Tamatea); 1, Johnny Ika (MAC).
Pirate v Clive: 3, Rana Hubbard (Pirate); 2, Donovan Mataira (Clive); 1, Josh Kaifa (Clive).
Central v Tech: 3, McKenzie Smith (Central); 2, Ted Walters (Tech); 1, Travis Taylor (Central).
Leaderboard: 13pts: Donovan Mataira (Clive). 12pts: Elijah Martin (Tech). 11pts: Paula Latu (MAC). 9pts: Sean Skeet (NOBM), Eru Wano (Taradale), Jayden Rihia (Hastings), Lincoln McClutchie (Tamatea). 8pts: Zac Donaldson (NOBM), Albert Hemopo (Havelock North). 7pts: Saia Paese, Liam Edwards (both NOBM), Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirate). 6pts: Tyler Symon-Burke, Patrick Teddy (both NOBM), Iakopo Mapu, Jordan Kupa, Humphrey Shield, Cristobal Niedmann (all Taradale), Jacob Devery (Hastings), Tom Iosefo (MAC), Slayde Lange (Tech), Damien Scott, Hayden Hann (both Pirate).