Topic: Rugby

Manihera's shift to Waikato paying off

By Eru Paranihi
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Former Blues player Jordan Manihera's shift to the Waikato has proved a masterstroke after kicking off the Mitre 10 Cup with six tries from four games.

The loose forward is the top try scorer and there are suggestions that he could well be in a black jersey at the end of the season.

Manihera (Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto) has made a habit of crossing the white line regularly.

“It's full credit to the boys really, I'm just the finisher,” says Manihera.

The former New Zealand Under-20 representative shies away from taking credit but he's the first to acknowledge his teammates for his six tries.

“Not really sure to be honest [where it comes from]. The thing is we've got a really good group of lads here that have been working their ass off.”

With this kind of form, the former Westlake Boys High School player who migrated south from North Harbour is likely to receive higher honours.

“It would be a privilege to not only represent my country, but to do it with the Māori All Blacks, and to head over to Vancouver would be a once in a lifetime experience.”

While some would say he left home to revive his career, being a descendant of the Tainui waka, others would say he has returned home.

“I've learnt a lot about my Māori history in the last couple of years, or so, and to find out that I actually live about five minutes away from the Hukanui Marae, which is my family marae. To learn about that sort of side of my family is pretty special to me.”

Manihera has now spent two seasons with the Hamilton Old Boys Rugby club, starting again from scratch. It is a move that now seems to have paid off.

“It's a good fresh start for me, and it's sort of made me sacrifice a bit more and work a bit harder to achieve my goals. This seasons definitely been my most enjoyable season to date.”

Manihera's Waikato team now head to Whangarei to take on Northland, where the try line awaits for the top try scorer.