NZ Māori determined to spoil NZ Residents reign

By Tamati Tiananga
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The NZ Māori will be looking to spoil the party for the NZ Residents. The NZ Māori have never beaten the NZ Residents side. Zach Dockar-Clay will wear the NZ Māori jersey for the first time alongside club team mate, Malakai Watene-Zeleniak.

Zach Dockar-Clay (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Porou) says, “I signed with the Panthers (Penrith Panthers) for two years, I still got another year next year, so we are on a bit of a break now, back into it in November.”

Dockar-Clay, who has made a name for himself in the Junior Kiwis and Parramatta before singing with the Penrith Panthers, has spent some time with Jamie Soward, and Kiwis young gun Te Maire Martin.

“I was just start struck just how everyone was just how good I had gone with things and that. It's been pretty good. I am just stoked to be there with Penrith.”

Dockar-Clay will put everything he's learnt into action and is likely to pair with Carlos Hotene in the halves.

Coach Ricky Henry says, “It is sort of a stepping stone I think for a lot of the players, they get to play for the NZ team but also a lot of these boys are proud of where they are from and I think Zach (Zach Dockar-Clay) sort of worked well with the team so far and they sort of see him as a leader and someone that sort of directs us around the park.”

NRL Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona was off limits to media today, he will play his last rugby League game with the NZ Māori before switching codes joining Western Force on a two year deal in Super Rugby.

“A lot of experience obviously, he brings confidence to a lot of the players around him, I think at the ned of the day he has got twelve other guys around him, But he will definitely be a bit part of our plans and what we do.”

Home town favourite Curt Kara can't wait to play on familiar ground at Huntly's Davis Park. This week Kara returned from Sydney after another season with the Newton Jets.

Kara says, “Brings back a lot of memories I was in the blue and gold back then for Turangawaewae so I have a lot of good memories playing on Davis Park and also younger grades as well for Waikato and Waicoa Bays age groups and that.”

The game kicks off at 3pm tomorrow.