FACE-OFF: Mitchell Smith and Gee Martin.
FACE-OFF: Mitchell Smith and Gee Martin. Jessica Dorey

Rugby teams ready for Waitangi showdown

THE fierce battle between Central Highlands teams, New Zealand and The Rest of the World, is back again in Emerald tomorrow night for a blockbuster game of rugby union.

After a two-year winning streak in 2014 and 2015, New Zealand reclaimed the title last year. And make no mistake, the team of locals with New Zeland origin, are ready to leave everything on the field in order to keep a tight grip on the trophy.

With eight years experience in the showdown, both playing and coaching, New Zealand coach, Gee Martin wasn't shy about claiming his team will take home the title again this year.

"New Zealand will be on the trophy again this year,” he said.

"It's always a fierce competition, and it's always a great day.

"The match is not about structure, it's about the battle and who's toughest on the day.

"Whatever happens on the field on Waitangi Day, stays on the field.”

Both men and women's teams will take to the field in the annual event, but there's more to the night than just union.

"It's important to my culture and everyone in this community from New Zealand,” Mr Martin said.

"It's about sharing the passion of rugby.

"It's a day for everyone to come together and support each other.”

The Rest of the World co-captain Cameron Heath said it would be another blockbuster match between the two teams.

"It is the most physical game of the year,” he said.

"The Kiwis always put the big hits on.”


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