Harbour Hawks – “Dumped Taieri coach standing by club”

ODT writeup please click on Link     http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/384727/rugby-disappointed-vaafusuaga-standing-club

Taieri made the decision to replace Vaafusuaga at a meeting on Monday night.

Club president John Freeland cited the team’s poor performance as the reason for Vaafusuaga’s dismissal.

Vaafusuaga was reluctant to comment when contacted yesterday, saying he did not want to detract from the club.

“The decision has been made and I wasn’t part of that discussion,” Vaafusuaga said.

“But I don’t want to bring the club into disrepute because it is not the actions of the full club. For me these things can be resolved at another time and I don’t want to detract away from the Taieri club but also the club competition.

“It is still just a game that we all love and enjoy.”

Vaafusuaga played more than 200 games for the premier team.

He had a stint with Green Island when Taieri dropped out of the premier competition but returned when the club established a premier 2 team.

Vaafusuaga took over the coaching reins last year and guided the team into the premier final.

Taieri started well this season but has lost four of its past five games, including a disappointing 22-19 loss to Zingari-Richmond in abysmal conditions at Montecillo.

Vaafusuaga said he asked the referee during the match for clarification around a ruling.

When he did not get a satisfactory response he said something off the cuff which he regretted and was out of character for the mild-mannered 46-year-old.

Wells lodged a complaint with the Otago Rugby Football Union.

The club is writing a letter of apology which will be accepted by the referee, so the matter will be resolved.

Freeland said there was no link between Taieri’s decision to replace Vaafusuaga and his indiscretion.

While Vaafusuaga said there was some friction between himself and a “couple of people”, and that he would be unable to “work under that regime”, he will continue to remain a fixture around the club.

“I’ll be there for years and years to come and I suppose the ones who have invoked it will blow out as quickly as they blew in. I’ve been around the club scene many, many years and I don’t need to have a rebuttal of what has been said in the paper already. My peers and the people I’ve worked closely with over the years make their own judgement.”