Topic: Rugby

North Harbour Sevens star Whiria Meltzer explains that pass

By Raniera Harrison

He’s been accredited with the pass of the tournament, setting up a try with the sleight of a Māori hand.

“Just in the moment of the game – I don’t know what happened!” exclaims North Harbour Sevens star, Whiria Meltzer.

As the North Harbour side returned back to Albany, Auckland today, moods were relatively sombre after coming away unlucky runners up at the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in Rotorua at the weekend.  There was however one name on everyone's lips, however, he wouldn’t be the first to say so.

“We had no superstars in the team.  Just boys that mahi hard for each other,” says 24-year-old Meltzer (Ngāi Takoto)

The try, which happened in North Harbour's win over Waikato, was set up by a Māori player, to another.  Māori-style play that has captivated the world.

Eventual try-scorer Penetana Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa) says, “The first day he [Meltzer] could have done the same thing, but he didn’t chuck it to me,” jokes the North Harbour Sevens prop.

The second time, however, he did exactly that.

Smith continues, “He actually looked at me and I thought he was just going to go like this (signalling basic pass), but he wanted to do the old flash guy and chur.”

The pass itself has now garnered worldwide attention with web views now in the hundreds of thousands.  It's similiar to another famous flick pass – reminiscent of the 2005 NRL Grand Final with Benji Marshall sending shockwaves around the world with his behind the back flick pass antics.

“All Māori players have that natural flair, and I think just believing in yourself to throw it or just express yourself,” says Meltzer.

All Blacks Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens is looking at selecting four players to play at the Wellington Sevens in two weeks time.

“If the opportunity comes; then it comes.  If it doesn’t; then just got to carry on and mahi hard,” he says.

Meltzer's focus now turns to the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup for North Harbour.

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