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Inga Finau (Linwood) Hawkins Medal Player of The Week
Inga Finau is playing a starring role in Linwood’s outstanding start to the Hawkins Cup this year and leading the Hawkins Medal standings for the most valuable player.
At each match, independent observers allocate three, two and one points to the most outstanding players and after two rounds, the young Linwood second five-eights is the only player in the metro competition on five points.
This weekend Finau again showed his tremendous attacking flair as Linwood beat defending champions High School Old Boys, 27-26.
Finau is one part of Linwood’s talented first-five pairing alongside Canterbury first-five Richie Mo’unga.
The two players have developed a strong understanding at club level and playing together for New Zealand in last year’s under-20 World Cup.
Because of his national commitments and some injuries, coach Andrew Gibson said Linwood were not able to use Finau as often as they liked in the previous season. “But this year he’s had a strong preseason and we can see the results.”
The 20-year-old has impressed with his gliding, rather than bursting, runs through the midfield, scoring three tries and setting up others.
“He makes really good decisions about when to pass and when to run and he is always in support when someone is looking for an offload,” says Gibson.
Finau has been exposed to high-level coaching from an early age, at age-group level and as part of the Canterbury training squad, which Gibson thinks has given him a rugby nous beyond his years.
The youngster is already sharing some of that knowledge, this year coaching junior teams at St Andrews College, which fits well with his studies for a sports coaching degree at the University of Canterbury.
Photo - Ken Baker Photgraphy
Hawkins Medal (MVP) leaders: Inga Finau (Linwood) 5, Stefan Moir (New Brighton) 4, Scott Kelly (Sydenham), Alex Nankivell (LU), Stefan Moir (New Brighton), Ross Kennedy (Marist Albion), Pita Anae-Ah Sue, Sam Godwin (University), Jack Goodhue (LU), Luterau Laulala (Sydenham), Richie Mo'unga (Linwood), Scott Davidson (New Brighton), Jason Merrett (Chch), Ben Corston (Sumner), GJ Amosa (Burnside) 3.
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