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Vaka Sikahele: A player to watch

Vaka Sikahele is a young man making waves after an impressive year on the Auckland rugby league scene.

He has certainly come to come prominence throughout August.

First there was the SAS College Rugby League grand final on August 9 when Sikahele’s St Paul’s College walking away with its fifth title.

In a solid 28-6 victory over Southern Cross Campus, Vaka was outstanding, giving the opposition problems all night with his crafty runs from dummy half along with the opening try. It was no surprise when he was named player of the match honour.

However, Sikahele remains humble and grounded.

“That grand final was just two points to us,” he said.

“We are looking forward to the (NZRL) nationals now and not letting the win get to our heads. It feels good to get the cup back though.”

A few days later at the SAS College Rugby League awards, Sikahele was named in the Premier 1st XIII team of the year.

“It feels great to be in the team of the year. It’s been a great week or so with the boys,” he said.

Two weeks later, Sikahele played in the invitational rep clash for the Auckland Schoolboys against a Vodafone Warriors invitational side.

The Auckland Schoolboys side was made up of players selected in the SAS College Rugby League Team of the Year along with other standout talents from the competition. Included among them were Vodafone Warriors development players.

The Auckland Schoolboys prevailed 18-10 with Sikahele scoringd the final try for his side, the 30-metre run a great way to cap off his performance.

Vaka said he has benefited hugely from his involvement with the Vodafone Warriors.

“The Warriors have helped me out a lot in developing me, not just in becoming better on the field but outside of the field as well. I love the opportunity they have given me.”

Sikahele hopes he can make the new Vodafone Warriors squad to play in the New South Wales Rugby League’s SG Ball Cup next year and would love the opportunity.

Being a hooker, he looks up to Damien Cook.

“I try to be like him and keep control of the ruck and use my speed.”

For now, Sikahele is remaining focused and enjoying the experiences as they come.

“The goal is just to play hard now and do what I love to do, which is to play rugby league.”

And he’ll be doing that again from next Monday when St Paul’s College lines up at the NZRL National Secondary Schools tournament at Bruce Pulman Park in Papakura.