Could the winning of this week's Hawke's Bay premier club rugby competition's MVP award prove to be a lucky omen for Napier Old Boys Marist prop Patrick Teddy?
"I hope so ... making the Magpies is the big goal," Teddy replied when he was told Hastings Rugby and Sports prop Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe was the third round winner of the McDonald's-Hawke's Bay Today MVP award last year and he went on to secure a berth in the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad.
Like Tavita-Metcalfe was last year, Teddy, 18, is in his first season of premier club rugby after leaving school. To produce a player-of-the-match display for WIT Napier Old Boys Marist in Saturday's 36-31 Tui Nash Cup win against Auto Super Shoppe Hastings Rugby and Sports was a tremendous feat for the teen.
The tighthead prop was marking experienced Magpies loosehead prop Jason Long. As a Hawke's Bay Academy squad member Teddy receives plenty of tips from the likes of Long, Magpies coaches Mark Ozich and Josh Syms and Academy team coach Jason Shoemark.
"You get good battles every week at this level. It is more physical than at 1st XV level as the players are tougher and stronger. I know there are more tougher opposing front rowers to come," Teddy said.
"After this year I'll make the decision between hooker and prop but in the meantime I'm still happy to keep versatile," Teddy said.
He is rapt to have made the premier team of the club he played for right through all the JAB grades. He had two years in the Napier Boys' High School 1st XV and last year the former Hawke's Bay Ross Shield and Hawke's Bay under-16 rep made the Hurricanes under-18 squad and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Barbarians team.
"The highlight for me last year was the way our first XV struggled back after losing both of our games in South Africa as well as our first two pre-season games against St Paul's and St Kentigerns to reach the Super 8 and National Top Four finals and wins the Hurricanes final," Teddy recalled.
Just as powerful on the carry as he is at scrum time the 104kg Teddy is a hard man to stop five metres from the tryline and scored some crucial tries for NBHS during their march to the Top Four final last year. He is also accurate with his lineout throws when used in the hooking role.
"I was quite proud of what Patrick did at the weekend," NOBM head coach Craig Gowler said when reflecting on his troops win.
Should Teddy keep progressing in the manner he has he should go close to ticking off another of his goals next year ... Baby Blacks selection.
While he hopes to become a professional rugby player Teddy is already sorted for life after rugby having started a building apprenticeship with Richard Kepka Builders this year.
"I'm enjoying it and the fitness you get on the job helps with the rugby. Richard is one of our club sponsors and he is really flexible when it comes to giving me time off for games," Teddy added.
His NOBM team, the Nash Cup champions for the past three years, should maintain their unbeaten run when they host Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports at Bond Field tonight. The other 6.30pm matches will see Taradale host Tamatea at Tarehea Recreation Reserve, Hastings Rugby and Sports host Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical at Elwood Park and Tremains Andrew Clark Clive take on Progressive Meats Havelock North at Farndon Park.
The only 7pm encounter will see Northfuels Central play MAC at Waipukurau's Central Park. All 10 premier teams will play three games during the eight-day period ending on Saturday to accommodate the earlier start to the Mitre 10 Cup season in World Cup year.
Best & Fairest
NOBM v Hastings: 3, Patrick Teddy (NOBM); 2, Neria Fomai (Hastings); 1, Jack Nelson-Murray (NOBM).
Clive v Tamatea: 3, Zac Southwick (Clive); 2, Lincoln McClutchie (Tamatea); 1, Donovan Mataira (Clive).
Central v Pirate: 3, Finau Nimatasau (Central); 2, Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirate); 1, Hamish Willis (Pirate).
Taradale v MAC: 3, Jordan Kupa (Taradale); 2, Tom Iosefo (MAC); 1, Willie Benson (MAC).
Havelock North v Tech: 3, Matt Hill (Havelock); 2, Phil McRoberts (Havelock); 1, Jordan Faia (Tech).
Leaderboard: 5 points: Liam Edwards (NOBM), Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirate), Jordan Kupa (Taradale), Tom Iosefo (MAC). 3: Matt Morrison, Matt Hill, Jacob Stephenson (all Havelock), Sakopo Ofa, Jayden Rihia (both Hastings), Tyler Symon-Burke, Patrick Teddy (both NOBM), Donovan Mataira, Zac Southwick (both Clive), Iakopo Mapu, Junior Malielegaoi (both Taradale), Finau Nimatasau (Central).