“Everything good about rugby is in the Vic Masters”
5 Nations Team: Old Blacks
Geoff started his rugby career in Auckland NZ at the age of 7. He attended Browns Bay Primary School in Auckland and played for the school team. He went on to play for East Coast Bays in the Junior JB1 division as an inside centre.
In his early years Geoff excelled at athletics and competed in the 100mt finals against ex All Black – Doug Howlett. Geoff came 5th and Howlett 1st. His best time in his early teens was a blistering 10.84 for the 100 mt.
Geoff attended Rangitoto College and played wing for the 1st XV in the Third Form through to the seventh Form. He was selected for the provincial team – North Harbour and represented (15 a side and 7s) in the under 14s, 15s, 16s and 17s throughout his younger years. North Harbour was entrenched with All Black class (7s/15s), namely Buck Shelford, Slade McFarland, Mana Ashford and Glen Osborne. Geoff clearly remembers Mana Ashford sidestepping ability who he rates better than the famous Benji Marshall step that tore NRL teams apart.
Geoff went on to play for Glenfield Rugby Union Club in Auckland and stayed for 22 years. He played reserve and premier grade and earned a Blazer from the club as a sign of respect and acknowledgment for his services to the club. Geoff also played for the Glenfield Grizzlies over 35s team. He will be inviting the Grizzlies to Rugbyfest 2018 which will be a special time for him.
During this time, he represented North Harbor Maori 15s and 7s as a winger. He fondly remembers the intense and brutal training sessions.
We asked Geoff who was the toughest player he had played with or against. He selected a player named Carmen Heteraka AKA Warhorse. Warhorse is a 60 year old raging bull who played with the Vic Masters at the WMG. I witnessed first hand this 60 year old rip into opposition forward packs and instill fear with his hits in defence and bullocking runs’s.
The Move to Melbourne:
Geoff and wife moved to Melbourne in 2014 for work and settled in the western suburbs of Melbourne. He was keen to continue playing social rugby and connected with Api who told him about Vic Masters and the Barbarians team.
Geoff is grateful for his time with the Vic Masters. He has made many new friends and was proud to tour with the Vic Masters back home to Auckland this year to attend the World Masters Games and win a medal.
Geoff loves the culture of respect, comradery and believes that everything good about rugby is in the Vic Masters.
Geoff is keen to see Rugbyfest grow and particularly wants to see the women’s Rugbyfest teams grow. However, he will be cautious when challenging the women to a Boat Race….Bring on the Battle of the Sexes Boat Race at Rugbyfest 2018.