Top PB rugby player Siosiua Moala in demand on the Continent
POVERTY Bay’s player of the year for the past two seasons, Siosiua Moala, is loving life in Spain and playing rugby overseas. And that may not be good news for Bay coach Mana Otai.
The 27-year-old — who has scored 60 points for the Bay in 27 appearances and made the Heartland 15 two years in succession — has been approached by three clubs in Europe.
“One is in Rovigo, Italy,” Moala said.
“Their seasons starts in September.
“Biarritz, who play in the French Pro Division 2, which starts in August, have also been in touch.
“And my current club, AMPO Ordizia, want to sign me for another season.
“I’ll be back in May or the first week in June, and Mary (Moala’s wife) and I have some big decisions to make regarding what happens after the club season finishes.
“She says she will support whatever decision I make.
“I’m looking forward to catching up with the High School Old Boys guys and playing for the club, and would obviously love to play for the Bay.
“If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play for the Heartland team and get an offer to play in Spain.
“But we’ll have to wait and see what happens after I come home.”
Moala said Spain was an “amazing country, with amazing sights”.
“I’ve been doing a bit of travelling when we have a break.
“The standard of rugby is good, depending on how much money each club has. And you get to test yourself against professional rugby players from around the world.
“There are a lot of former Mitre 10 Cup players here and a lot of South African players from the Currie Cup, as well as Argentinians.
“I’ve been happy with my own game. I scored a hat-trick against the top team, Varc, who include Jody Allen (former Bay prop). But Jody also scored a try and his team won 46-45.
“We have made the quarterfinals, which we failed to do last season.”
Moala joined Ordizia midway through the season and has scored at least one try in all 11 games.
Although Spain is known for sunshine, Moala said Ordizia, based in the Basque region of northern Spain, gets its fair share of rain.
“The crowds are amazing,” he said.
“They love to support. We get over 400 on a bad day and 600 to 800 on a sunny day.
“Training is similar to New Zealand and the game is fast, but not as structured as in New Zealand.”