Linwood Keas grand-final man of the match props up young Canterbury Bulls

Linwood Keas prop Alex Todd is back doing the hard yards on a building site before turning out...
Linwood Keas prop Alex Todd is back doing the hard yards on a building site before turning out for the Canterbury Bulls. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Alex Todd is familiar with laying foundations on and off the field, so it is still business as usual for the Linwood Keas stalwart as he eyes another rugby league title with the Canterbury Bulls.

The durable prop returned to building sites around Christchurch after the Keas claimed an unprecedented fifth successive premiership when ending the Northern Bulldogs Canterbury Rugby League premiership aspirations on September 13.

And now the project manager is preparing to take a lead role with an inexperienced Bulls side in the NZRL national premiership.

“We’ve got quite a young side, it’ll be interesting to see how we go,” said Todd, who made his Bulls debut in 2009, when Canterbury were triumphant.

Todd has plenty of Linwood talent alongside on the Bulls roster with Matt Sauni, Mapu Uasi, Penitito Ilalio, Graeme Patu-Vaega’au, Will Yeow and Chanel Fealea named in the squad to take on the Counties Manukau Stingrays at Nga Puna Wai on October 3.

Linwood Keas vice-captain Alex Todd. Photo: File
Linwood Keas vice-captain Alex Todd. Photo: File
Waikato and the Akarana Falcons make up the quick-fire national competition.

The Bulls last won the title in 2014, when Todd was making his final code switch to rugby for Sumner.

“I wanted to see if I could still do it but you get more attacking ball and you’re tackling more in league, in rugby it’s all scrums and lineouts.”

He took his first a break from league at Christchurch Boys’ High School but a trip to South Africa with the under-16s couldn’t prevent him returning to his roots with Linwood the following season.

Alex Todd on the job. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Alex Todd on the job. Photo: Geoff Sloan
After all, dad Craig coached him as a junior while uncle Brent played for the club before graduating to Canterbury, the Kiwis and the then ARL-premiership winning Canberra Raiders.

Todd’s return to the Keas premiership grade team coincided with a loss to the Papanui Tigers but since then the club has been unbeatable when it counts.

“This is probably the sweetest (title) with the whole Covid stuff happening as well,” said Todd, who was judged the Mel Cooke player of the grand final for the third time in four years.

“A lot of accolades should go out to the coaching staff as well, they hung in there and got the boys motivated to keep training during the lockdown.

“It’s been a tough year for a few of the boys.”

Alex Todd after his team's win at the 2020 Premier Grand Final. Photo: Supplied
Alex Todd after his team's win at the 2020 Premier Grand Final. Photo: Supplied
Todd, who is nearing 31, plans to rumble on in 2021 as the Keas seek a sixth straight championship while he needs three runs to reach the 150 appearances.

“The body’s not feeling too bad,” he said, happy the building game is also in rude health.

“It’s busy, there’s jobs on everywhere. You can’t go travelling so I guess people are doing up their house.”

 

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter