19-year-old New Zealand Sevens sensation Rieko Ioane has shown that his future All Blacks hype has been justified with a superb solo try for the Blues in their 23-18 win over the Sharks in Eden Park.
Ioane’s 64th minute score proved to be the difference between the two sides in Auckland as Tana Umaga’s side was forced to once again rely on a moment of backline brilliance to secure a much needed win for the Aucklanders.
Rieko and older brother Akira were both instrumental for the Blues in their second-half fightback as Akira provided some much needed punch off the bench, while younger brother Rieko’s dazzling feet unlocked what was a rather stern and stingy Sharks defence.
Both players have been earmarked for international honours in the future, and while it was originally thought that 20-year-old Akira would be the first of the two to don the silver and black, the younger Rieko has given good reason this season for fans and pundits to re-evaluate that theory.
The Auckland Grammar product followed up his stunning individual try against the Chiefs with another brilliant effort against the Sharks, and if he can keep churning out long range tries over the remainder of this season, his performances may be too good for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to ignore.
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.