Topic: Rugby

Māori All Black eyes starting spot through kicking

By Eru Paranihi
  • Wellington

Hurricanes and Māori All Black utility Otere Black is eyeing up his goal-kicking ability as a way to gain selection into the starting line-up of the capital franchise.

In their last encounter with the Sunwolves, Black both started and kicked nine conversions- a record for the club in which he equalled with current number 10 Beauden Barrett.  

“I would say that during close encounters it's an advantage to slot your conversions between the posts.  However, that's a small matter,” says Black jokingly.

With an abundance of top class players, it will be difficult for the former Under-20 flyhalf to make the starting line-up.  Regardless, he's content with doing his job.

“The main thing is that my body and mind are ready regardless of the number on the back of my jersey,” says Black.

Despite the limited opportunities he is expected to get, the Mataatua descendant is ready to go should he be summoned by coach Chris Boyd.

“As far as the team goes, the goal for us is to win the competition.  However, we are focused on games coming up. That's the big thing for me.”

Black hasn't forgotten that he has Beauden Barrett in front of him competing for the first five-eight position.

“Playing well on the field is what will get me a spot in the team regardless of whether I start on the field, or on the bench.”

It's a long season ahead for Black but an injury or a drop in form from Barrett will see the Māori All Black thrown into the mix.