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Breakout superstar takes flight with the Crusaders

Brie-Ellen Harding
Brie pic
Crusaders fly-half Riley Hohepa  Brie-Ellen Harding/NZBS

Crusaders fly-half Riley Hohepa looks to bring the mana ahead of the Crusaders vs Chiefs match.

Following their 5-0 losing streak, the Crusaders are hunting their first win of the season tonight against the Chiefs. With a history of the Crusaders beating the Chiefs in previous seasons, the team is looking optimistic in getting a win tonight. 

Fly-half Riley Hohepa has been named in the Crusaders team to start at Number 10 against the Chiefs, but is confident he will bring the mana needed to turn the team on.

Hohepa originally had been introduced to the team as injury cover for Rivez Reihana, after he went down with a shoulder injury against the Chiefs in round one. Since then, he has claimed his place in the Crusaders backline, making the starting 15 their last few matches.

“It’s been a fast transition and learning environment,” said Hohepa.

Hohepa has had quite the journey within his Super Rugby career, previously playing a couple of games for the Hurricanes last season before taking on pre-season with the Chiefs. 

With a background of 100 games for the oldest rugby club in the Counties Manukau region, Patumahoe, the wealth of  experience is leaving Crusader fans confident he will bring a sharp and accurate skill set. 

“Since I can remember I’ve had a ball in my hand,” said Hohepa.

Despite spending pre-season with the Chiefs, Hohepa said he was not interested in sharing a level of trade secrets and moves developed during his time. He also has mixed emotions about coming up against the Chiefs as they are all 'friends outside of the white lines'. 

His main focus for the game is leading the team to a good performance in front of a home crowd at Apollo Projects Stadium. 

The Super Rugby Aupiki competition will also be on display at Apollo Projects Stadium. A double header that has been in the works for three years will see the South Island Matatū play against the Hurricanes this afternoon.

Locals and those travelling from across the country are very excited to see both games. Tickets are still available for the double header with students looking at paying only $15.65.