It was a game not to be missed last Friday night as the Counties Steelers took on the Taranaki Bulls and the All Blacks at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.
For one local player, it was an unforgettable night.
Tevita Nabura, fondly known as Jhu, from the Waiuku club, was on debut for the Steelers on Friday.
The 1.95m winger proved his talent and eagerness to be on the field, scoring the Steelers’ first try against the Taranaki Bulls.
“I felt really proud to score a try on my debut,” he said after the game. “You can expect a similar performance to tonight’s for the rest of the season.”
The Steelers came away with a 28-7 win over the Bulls.
While Jhu enjoyed playing against Taranaki, he said it was ‘a dream come true’ to play against the All Blacks.
“Last year I was watching them, and this year I was on the field playing against them,” he said.
Jhu spent the last season playing for Waiuku, and was named top points scorer for the club.
He said the level of intensity has increased from club rugby to provincial.
“It is another level. It’s different and a higher intensity being with the Steelers,” he said.
While Jhu and the Steelers will be preparing for their first game of the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup season against Auckland on Friday, he said they’ll be looking for a win.
“We’ll get back, watch some reviews of our performance and go from there.”
Jhu aims to have a successful season with the Steelers. “My goal is just to go hard and hopefully get a Super Rugby contract.”
The Counties Manukau Steelers play Auckland at ECOLight Stadium on Friday 19 August with kickoff at 7:35pm.