Among the numerous stars uncovered at the weekend’s Bayleys National Sevens tournament in Rotorua, none were more captivating than North Harbour star link, Whiria Meltzer.
“I didn’t really think about it, bro – just threw it. And it stuck”. Those were simple words from a not so simple sevens star in the waiting. Videos of 24 year-old Meltzer (Ngāi Takoto ) have gone viral overnight on the internet, after dishing off what was described by commentators as “the pass of the tournament,” says Meltzer.
However, Meltzer, a full-time personal trainer in Auckland’s swanky Newmarket, is not quite sure what all the fuss is about.
“To be honest, bro – it just felt right, and so I threw it,” he adds.
The pass itself, in the 13th minute of the clash with traditional foes, Waikato, sent shock waves not only through the competition, but around the world. Many rugby commentators have struggled to find a logical explanation for Meltzer’s wizardry.
“That’s just how the boys play, bro. All Māori boys play like that don’t they?” asks Meltzer.
Meltzer was a stand-out performer for the youthful North Harbour sevens side. The team made the cup final of the men’s competition only to be trounced by a stellar Counties Manukau outfit, 54-14 in the final.
The former student of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangi Āniwaniwa in Kaitaia says his teammates gave him “a bit of a hard-time” about all the new-found fame he has been receiving – his Facebook notifications have been going red hot since yesterday morning’s antics.
“Yeah a few new ‘friend’ requests – sorry about it,” jokes Meltzer.
Sir Gordon Tietjens last week revealed he would be looking to elevate the status of four players from the Bayleys National Sevens competition to the national side over following days.
North Harbour’s latest star might just be one of the chosen few.
Sports journalist, Raniera Harrison recreates THAT pass with Whiria tonight on Te Kāea, 5:30pm, only on Māori Television.