Nareki a try-scoring machine for Otago

Jona Nareki
Jona Nareki
Electric Otago winger Jona Nareki is making every post a winning one, racking up a try in nearly every game in the blue and gold jersey.

Nareki was on fire for Otago in the thrilling 35-27 win over Taranaki on Sunday, scoring two tries and also playing a major part in another.

Nareki has started 21 games for Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup since he made his debut in 2017.

In that time he has scored 21 tries.

He has also made two appearances off the bench.

To be able to score a try at a rate of one a game is truly exceptional and shows his ability to find the line.

Waisake Naholo bagged 45 tries for the Highlanders in 62 games for the franchise but Nareki is ahead of that rate, albeit at a lower level.

The left winger is fast becoming a try-scoring machine for Otago and is a real danger for teams in the Mitre 10 Cup.

The former New Zealand Colt is still only 21 and has signed for the Highlanders next year, which looks an excellent piece of business by the southern franchise.

The flying winger has played four games for Otago this year and has scored six tries, including doubles against Southland and Taranaki.

Nareki ended up marking Naholo on Sunday night and was just as dangerous as the former All Black.

Nareki scored nine tries for Otago in his debut season and six tries last year when his season was ended early because of injury.

Keeping up his try-scoring rate this season will be difficult for Nareki but he is a real livewire who can score from anywhere.

Setting a record for most tries in a season for a player is a tough ask for any player in modern times.

The Otago record of 16 is held by John Timu, who reached that mark twice, Paul Cooke and Brendan Laney.

Otago played more games in the amateur days when the Highlanders did not exist while Laney's record was set in 1998 when Otago racked up some big scores in its run to the national title.

Cooke has scored the most tries for Otago, bagging 73 from 1990 to 1996.


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