Moeahu not returning after six years building up team

Dean Moeahu
Dean Moeahu
Green Island coach Dean Moeahu will not be back at the helm next season.

After a six-year stint, he has decided it is time to move on to "something else".

The former Grizzlies halfback has been instrumental in helping reverse the fortunes of the club’s premier team during his tenure.

He helped the side break a 17-year playoff drought when it reached the semifinals in 2019.

And this year Green Island set the benchmark. It qualified in top spot and got through to the final.

But Taieri denied him a grand send-off, winning that final 21-17 at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

He said after the final he had mixed emotions.

"This is probably the end for me. It is time to move on to something else," he said.

"But I’m so proud. From where we’ve come from to where we are and to have this moment and have a crack at a final is huge."

"You live and die by the sword. We scored three tries but we relinquished the game to a side with a very good goal-kicker in Cameron Millar."

Millar drilled six penalties to help secure Taieri’s second consecutive senior banner and fifth since 2011.

"This is it for me but we have such a great player group and foundation within the club with regards to our coaching staff," Moeahu said.

"We’ll look to promote another couple of good young coaches. This is only the start of bigger things for Green Island rugby."

Green Island’s discipline let it down but Moeahu put a lot of that down to emotion and the fact the team did not have a lot of big-game experience.

"It was a bit of over-eagerness and I know we gave away way too many penalties. And you cannot do that when the opposition has such a great goal-kicker.

"But you live and learn and this team now has some finals experience. We’ll lose a couple of guys but everyone else will be back next year, so bring it on."

While Moeahu will step back from coaching the premiers, he will remain involved at the club.

"I’m born and bred in Green Island. It is my club, so I won’t be going anywhere."

■Dunedin scored two late tries to seal a 30-15 win over Kaikorai in the premier 2 final.

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