Matt Pomana

PROP WITH PERSONALITY: Temuka’s Matt Pomana is back for his 17th season of senior rugby with Temuka.

Matt Pomana  article which was is in Timaru Herald

Prop Matt Pomana is one Magpie with longevity.

Pomana will kick off his 17th season of senior rugby for the Temuka Rugby Club at Pleasant Point tomorrow, as fit as he has ever been.

As the club records are sketchy Pomana is not 100 per cent sure how many senior games he has played.

“I was talking with a few of the boys and reckon it must be getting close to 300.”

The friendly frontrower has no idea how many tries he has scored.

“There have been a couple but my job is to push in the scrums and lift in the lineouts – anything else is a bonus. We leave the counting to those fancy backs.”

Pomana is ready for action as well tipping the scales at 114kg, 6kg lighter than usual at the start of the season.

“The boys went well last year so I thought I’d better do something so have had [fitness trainer] Terry Kellett sorting me out and he’s got me on a good programme.”

Highlights over Pomana’s career were the three championships titles early on and a cap for South Canterbury in 1998.

“I played against Southland and the next week against Otago but we fielded too many subs and they took away the first class status leaving me with one.”

He is hoping to add the Hamersley Cup to his resume this year, having just missed the grand final last year.

“It would be good to get there and maybe play Waimate.”

Pomana admits he is also one of those personalities that can have some fun off the field and enjoys a beer or two at the clubrooms afterwards.

“I’ve been known to organise a few social activities in my time and had a few good sing-songs.

“It’s always good to talk to the old fellas that come along and support you and of course there is always your team-mates.”

Pomana has been a regular in the side since debuting as a 20-year-old and has stayed injury free. “I think that’s the secret really, no major injuries.”

Last year he thought he had retired but got a call from coach Ants Etti to cover off the bench in the first game against Old Boys. By the end of the season, with others injured, he started their semifinals and never took a step back.

“Our No 8 Joeli said I had to come back this year and I said I would if he did and we are both here.”

As for the toughest frontrower he has faced in his 16 seasons of club rugby so far, Mackenzie’s Peter Knubley is the first name that comes to mind.

“He was a hard man in the front row – you could be sore for a couple of days.”

Pomana said he happy this season to fill in when and where he is needed. “We have Cody Hilligers back and a young guy from England and a prop from Tanzania, so it is a multicultural front row this year.”

Pomana is proud he has been a one-club man, and Temuka must be rapt to have had him. As for an 18th season, Pomana said everyone will have to wait and see.