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Mavae Tomasi (Shirley) Hawkins Medal Player of The Week
Photo - Ken Baker Photography
Shirley has not had much to celebrate this season in the Hawkins Division One, so last Saturday’s win over Linwood was a victory to cherish.
The game also catapulted Mavae Tomasi onto the leaderboard for the Hawkins Medal, which will be awarded to the most valuable player of the season, when the Tongan utility was awarded the maximum three points.
Each week, independent observers award three, two and one point to the best three players at each game to determine the winner of the Hawkins Medal at the end of the year.
Ironically, Tomasi earned his player of the day honours in the unfamiliar position at second-five eighths. The 25-year-old has represented the Tongan under-21 side and is eyeing up more representative honours at halfback, but agreed to move into the Shirley midfield while coach Jimmy Hema has been blooding several Colts players for next season.
“Initially he was bit tentative at second-five, but he’s a big guy and has the physical attributes to carry the ball and he’s been doing really well,” said Hema.
The coach acknowledges that Shirley’s underwhelming results in the Metro competition have not helped Tomasi to show his real talent. “It’s always hard for a halfback to stand out when your pack is going backwards, but it is a testament to his qualities that he still features in the MVP rankings.”
Tomasi’s performances have also created interest from South Canterbury who are believed to be chasing the Shirley player for the Heartland competition.
Hema is confident Tomasi has the skills to step up to a representative level, but wonders how the halfback would combine a Timaru commute from his Rangiora home, with a young family and a job as a drainage foreman.
“He is dead keen to play in the Heartland competition but I guess he’d be hoping for something a bit closer to home.”
Hawkins Medal (MVP) points leaders: Jarred Percival (HSOB) 14, Sam Godwin (University) 12, Richie Mo'unga (Linwood), Billy Harmon (New Brighton), Billy Guyton (Marist Albion), Caleb Makene (LU), Ben Corston (Sumner) 10, Jason Merrett (Chch), Ross Kennedy (Marist Albion) 9, Stefan Moir (New Brighton), Wade McRae (LU) 8, Rowan O'Gorman (Marist Albion), Peter Samu (Burnside), Mavae Tomasi (Shirley) 7.
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