Brumbies centre Tamati Tua on the Blues

Brumbies centre Tamati Tua on the Blues

For Tamati Tua, the rivalry with the Blues runs well beyond a place in the Super Rugby Pacific Final.

Tua grew up in Kaitaia at the top of New Zealand, five hours north of Auckland, with the 26-year-old battling against Auckland as he rose through the Rugby ranks.

He would eventually pull on the Blue jersey in 2018 before developing into one of the best inside centres in Super Rugby Pacific after moving to the ACT Brumbies in 2023.

Tua still plies his trade for Northland during the Super Rugby Pacific off-season in the NPC, with his side going down to Auckland in the final game of their season.

“North Harbour and Auckland were always the two teams you wanted to beat (growing up)."

Ironically, Tua was an unused sub the last time the two teams faced off in a semi-final in 2022, with the Brumbies going down by a point.

Tua believes the Brumbies have taken plenty from that experience as well as their April defeat, in which they have not been beaten since.

“We just have to front up, they’re physical and it’s what their whole game plan is built around," he said.

“It makes everything easier for you if you’re winning that contest so it’s critical.

“…We’re just confident in ourselves and our abilities, that we’ve got from what we’ve done earlier in the season.”

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