Prop Iuma Mulitalo has notched up 150 premiership games for the Linwood Keas.
The hard-nosed prop was given the honour of taking the final conversion in his side’s 44-10 over Riccarton Knights Saturday, which he landed.
“It was straight out in front,” he said. “I tried not to think about it and just kick it.”
It was nice to get a start and while I’m sore it was great to get another win,” he said.
The humble front-rower started his tenure at the club in 2007 and has been a mainstay ever since.
“When I first came into the team we made three premiership finals and then after that we went through some rebuilding years,” he says. “So I’ve been there for the good and the bad.”
The 33-year-old made his premiership debut for Eastern
as a fresh-faced front-rower in 2002.
After a stint with Celebration, he is now one of the Keas’ most treasured veterans.
Coach Andrew Auimatagi says Mulitalo never shies away from a tough carry and is always willing to give back to the club.
“He’s a strong but quiet leader within our team and he contributes a great deal to our culture.
“He coaches our under-18 team three times a week so he’s giving back and passing on his knowledge to the next generation.”
Mulitalo’s first memory of the sport was playing prop for the Sydenham Swans under-7s.
“I like to compete and I really enjoy being involved in the games.”
He says he was most proud of being involved in the club rebuild which happened after 2009.
“The club is in a really strong place having won the last two finals but there was a rebuild for a few years where a lot of people worked hard to get the club to where we are now.”
Mulitalo says over his 16 years of playing in the top grade, he says the biggest change has been the increased speed of the game and the added emphasis on the tackle and play the ball.
‘The game has sped-up and people want to play the ball quicker so you have to win the wrestle (as a defender) to try to slow that down.”