Pomana Hanging up his boots


He’s played more than 250 games of senior club rugby for Temuka and is now calling it a day.

At 35 years old, Matt Pomana is packing it in after nearly a quarter of a century of rugby.

“I just had ongoing niggling injuries and am getting up in age now,” he said.

Pomana is not resigned to a life without rugby, saying he still gets the odd call when the South Canterbury development squad is short on players.

After 15 seasons with the Temuka senior team, one cap for South Canterbury and a few for the development squad, the prop/hooker reflects on the lighter moments including senior championship wins in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001.

“There have been a few but preparing for the 1996 final, everyone had the game face on all week and back then, the final was played on a Sunday and we trained on Saturday.

“Stu Corry whipped out a unicycle after training and started pedalling around the clubrooms on it, it broke the tension because you are all pumped up and ready to go before big games like that.”

Pomana was introduced to the sport by older brother Barry. “We would throw and kick a ball around in the backyard till his team was short one day and I had to play for them.

“I enjoyed it so I went and got myself into the right age group and off I went.

“I have always played for Temuka from under-10s to seniors, but I make an allowance for one appearance for a team called the Marauders every Easter.

“The club is past players of the Nuhaka Rugby,” Pomana said.

He qualified through his father, Barry, and grandfather, George Pomana, who played for the team.

His passion for rugby will continue as Pomana planned to coach and mentor, something he said was lacking in South Canterbury rugby.

“I love the game of rugby. It’s in my blood, my father’s uncle was George Nepia which makes him my great uncle and my mother’s grandfather was Jack Steel – both of whom ironically played together in the 1924-25 Invincibles