It might be early in the season but PIC Steelers coach Reon Graham would have been happy with what he saw from a pair of his returning players in a head-to-head battle on Saturday.
Halfbacks Jonathan Taumateine (Manurewa) and Liam Daniela (Patumahoe) came up against each other, with the latter claiming bragging rights thanks to a 26-15 win at Mountfort Park.
But both players were heavily involved in their side’s efforts and were among the best on the field.
Daniela said he relishes the chance to go one-on-one with his PIC Steelers teammate.
“It’s awesome – I have played many games against Jonathan, and it is always good,” Daniela told Counties Sports Hub.
“We have a bit of a laugh and a bit of banter.
“It was also good to play with Grandpa, I mean Ace [Ahsee Tuala],” joked Daniela.
“It is good to see those boys back out there and giving back to our Union.”
The Taumateine-Tuala combination will be key to Manurewa’s chances of defending the McNamara Cup this season while Daniela will pick up the extra slack at Patumahoe, with skipper Riley Hohepa involved with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby.
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