Te Hiwi brothers keen to help OBHS to win in final

Brothers Jake (left) and Isaac prepare for a training session with the Otago Boys’ High School...
Brothers Jake (left) and Isaac prepare for a training session with the Otago Boys’ High School First XV at Littlebourne yesterday. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Isaac and Jake Te Hiwi grew up trying to bump each other off in the hallway of the family home.

Tomorrow the brothers will be trying the same trick at Littlebourne in the southern regional top four final against Southland Boys’ High School.

This time, though, they will be on the same side — Otago Boys’ High School First XV.

Isaac (18) is the older of the two. The year-13 pupil is an elusive fullback with good top-end speed and an ability to step the most tenacious defender.

Jake (16) has a simpler approach in the midfield. A centre, he likes to take the ball into contact and win the collisions. He got plenty of practice growing up. Isaac reckons he used to dominate the hallway melee but Jake (year 11) is broader and taller than his older sibling these days.

"We had some pretty physical encounters back in the day," Isaac said.

"Mostly just running into each other in the hallway."

"He is a lot bigger than me. He’d probably win those battles now."

Jake remembers the crush in the corridor differently.

"I probably won most of them to be fair," Jake said with a grin.

"It is pretty cool playing with him now just because I know what he can do and stuff like that."

The brothers are ambitious about their rugby and are hopeful opportunities at the higher level will open up for them in the future. A good start would be by helping Otago Boys’ post a win tomorrow.

Arguably, Southland Boys’ shapes as the favourite. The teams drew 14-14 at Littlebourne earlier in the year.

But Southland Boys’ dispatched John McGlashan College 42-5 last weekend, while Otago Boys’ limped past the same opponent 24-17 seven days earlier.

The Te Hiwi brothers are expecting Southland Boys’ will use its big pack to punch holes close to the ruck.

There has been plenty of focus placed on how to defend around the fringes and the breakdown is another area in which Otago Boys’ will need to lift its game. McGlashan managed to pick up a steady supply of turnovers and Otago Boys’ is keen to prevent a repeat.

Southland Boys’ captain Sean Withy will be a threat. He is a quality openside, strong ball carrier and does not miss too many tackles.

No8 Jacob Payne is another hard-nosed player and bruising runner, while second five-eighth Elliot Warrender is the glue in the backline.

The winner will progress to the South Island final against the winner of the Crusaders’ tournament. That match will be in Christchurch on September 1.


Littlebourne, tomorrow, 1pm

Otago Boys’: Isaac Te Hiwi, Max Brown, Jake Te Hiwi, Reuben Wairau, Michael Manson, Tevita Asi, James Arscott, Oliver Griffen, Tim Dippie, Joseph Aldrige Williams, Taylor Dale, Levi Turoa, Tevita Pole, Harry Hansen, Marika Parker. Reserves: Hilary Takau, Thomas Ryan, Nick Washington, Oliver Haig, Charlie Marsh, Josiah Lesa, Warren Loulanting.

Southland Boys’: Jordan Maher, Junior Lafoga, Jordan Smith, Elliot Warrender, Elisara Kuresa, Ryan Taylor, Tim Price, Jacob Payne, Sean Withy (captain), Jack Wilcox, Harry Taylor, Aleki Saili, Ken Singleton, Morgan Riordan, Niko Manaena. Reserves: Kaya Symon, Troy McIvor, Ezekiel Maheno, Ross Teweti, Josh Murrell, Allan Gillies, Blake Harper.

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