Harbour Rugby Club rising star Max Braithwaite demonstrates
his try-scoring style in Dunedin. Photo by Stephen
Max Braithwaite is only 6 but he is feeling the pressure.
The young rugby player needs just three tries in his final
rippa rugby under-7s match today against Pirates to crack 100
for the season.
''I hope I can do it, because everyone will be cheering me
and it will help my team win,'' he said this week.
''I like scoring tries, because I like getting points for my
team. If we score lots of tries, then we win.''
Ever modest, Max said he had no special celebration planned
if he did get his 100th try and was happy to share his secret
to scoring tries.
''You just run around them as fast as you can,'' he patiently
He was not sure of his position, but models his game on
Highlander Ben Smith.
"His favourite international team is Ireland, after watching
it beat Italy in a Rugby World Cup match at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in 2011.
However, he supposed he would answer the call when the All
Blacks inevitably came knocking around 2033.
The St Joseph's School pupil started playing rugby last year.
''It took him a while to get the hang of it, but he loves it
now,'' his mother, Kelly Braithwaite, said.
''He just follows the ball-carrier, gets the ball and then
runs to the tryline.''
Max's biggest fan is his sister, Mia (2), who stands on the
sidelines at every match in her mini-Harbour jersey, cheering
her boys on.
Max had scored 97 of the team's 140 tries in its 14 matches
so far this season, Harbour under-7s rippa rugby coach Hamish
''He just instinctively knows how to run into holes. But he's
a good team man, too,'' he said.