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Player of the week: Jake Goodger

Jake Goodger in his Aspect Architecture office in Martinborough. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

During the week Jake Goodger designs houses. On Saturdays, he has designs on stopping opposition players. CHRIS COGDALE spoke to the Martinborough architect and dynamic loose forward.

Jake Goodger and his partner, Molly, had intended to get on the property ladder in Wellington, but the cost was too prohibitive, so the couple bought a home in Martinborough.

The move has been a homecoming of sorts, with Jake having close family connections with the Hartnell and Hawkins families.

Goodger grew up in Waipukurau and represented Hawke’s Bay at Under-14 and Under-16 levels. After leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College, he headed to Wellington’s Victoria University, where he studied architecture, graduating with a master’s degree.

Goodger also hooked up with the Marist St Pats Rugby Club, making the club’s premier side.

However, it was away from the rugby field where he and Molly made an impact with their ‘Christmas Club’ initiative in 2019.

The couple joined with the Salvation Army and delivered 200 boxes to at-need Wellington children for Christmas. The boxes were put together with product donations and cash through a Givealittle page and raised $2300 in eight weeks.

Now settled in Martinborough, Goodger, 26, is working towards his architectural registration with Aspect Architecture.

His return ‘home’ led to him donning the green and black Martinborough colours that his father, Tom, proudly wore.

“My old man used to play for them way back in the day, so it’s quite nice having those roots as well as playing with my cousins Jono Hartnell and Jared Hawkins,” he said.

Goodger’s form as a loose forward at club level led to his selection at No 8 for the Farriers Wairarapa-Bush side that played Hawke’s Bay Saracens on Queen’s Birthday

“It was really exciting because I hadn’t planned on playing rugby this year, but I was really enjoying the competition over here, so to get that call up was pretty amazing.”

As for putting his name up for Wai-Bush selection in the Heartland Championship, Goodger is reluctant to commit at this stage.

In the meantime, his focus is on getting Martinborough back to winning ways after three losses from three games of the championship, including two narrow losses to late tries.

“It will click, it will come, and we’ll keep building from week to week and we just need to get a win to get our confidence back up. The top four, we’ll see how we go, eh.”

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