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Jason Merrett (Christchurch) Hawkins Medal Player of The Week
Jason Merrett is only 26 years of age, but an old hand at Christchurch Rugby Club, as he showed in their 26-11 win over High School Old Boys on Saturday.
Merrett is currently joint leader in the race for the Hawkins Medal for most valuable player in the metro competition, for which the best three players in each game are awarded three, two or one point each.
In his fifth season at Christchurch Park, he is one of the most experienced players in his side and supplies a winning edge with the boot, scoring 16 points against HSOB.
A few seasons ago, the first five-eights was the competition’s leading points scorer, but this year the coaches are using him as fullback. He admits that his running game is not as good as his kicking game but hopes that he will eventually end up back in the No.10 shirt.
Merrett is employed as a PE teacher at St Bedes, but also enjoyed a couple of years playing rugby in Japan and Spain and a few years in construction straight out of Burnside High School.
He thinks that all those experiences have made him a better rugby player. “I now realise there is more to life than rugby and I think that relaxes you on the field.”
Coach Daniel O’Brien says Merrett has played a key role as his team has matured over the past few years. “A few years ago, I think that we might have lost a similarly tight game as we had against HSOB.”
Merrett thinks that a pre-season tour to Australia has helped to integrate the new members of the squad and provide the strong start to the season.
“This is the tightest squad I’ve been involved with and I think we have a realistic chance to win the competition.”
Photo - Ken Baker Photography
Leading Hawkins Medal for MVP: Inga Finau (Linwood), Jason Merrett (Chch) 5, Stefan Moir (New Brighton) 4.
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