Glenmark’s brothers feature in final win

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As children the rugby-mad Keane brothers all wanted to be All Blacks.
Earlier this month they experienced something similar when their Glenmark rugby team won the North Canterbury division one final at Kaiapoi on Saturday, August 6. All three brothers Mike (26), Chris (29) and Matt (32), played that day before a big crowd.
Chris is Glenmark’s captain and Mike won player of the match.
Matt’s role was more of a cameo performance. He has been hampered by injuries all season and sat on the bench for most of the final, only taking part for the last few minutes. This season is likely to be his last.
Off the rugby pitch the brothers are all builders and work together at Chris’s business Keane Building in Amberley.
‘‘There isa lot of talk about rugby during the week,’’ Matt said.
Glenmark also has the services of another talented brother combination. The vice-captain is Richard Taylor and his brother, Marcus, also plays for the team.
Matt said it was a great thrill to win the final, particularly after the disappointment of losing the Combined Country semi-final earlier in the year. Next year the club’s focus would be to win
both finals, he said.
The club’s inspirational trio of Fijian players, Simi Turaga, Filipe Kuruvoli and Sunia Kubu, who scored a try, also had a big impact on the final result.
Matt said Filipe was the first Fijian player to join Glenmark.
Back in 2013 the team was struggling to find players and talked about looking overseas to fill the gaps.
Matt had become friendly with Filipe when he played for Glenmark in 2009 and suggested contacting him to see if he was interested in coming back to the club and if he knew of any other Fijians who might like to join him.
They have made a big impact in the team, Matt said.
‘‘They are great lads. They can create magic on the footy field and they are great, really genuine people as well,’’ he said.
Ashley also has two talented Fijians, Peta Sekilagi and Marika Roqica. They made a big contribution to the game, with Peta scoring two tries.
While there may be no quarter on the field, the Fijian players are great friends off the pitch and have had a lot to celebrate recently with the Fijian sevens rugby team making history winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
Simi said they were ‘‘over the moon’’ about the result and ‘‘really stoked’’ for the team.