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Player of the week: Robbie Anderson

Eketahuna’s Robbie Anderson picked up three points from their first-round win over Gladstone. CHRIS COGDALE caught up with the Masterton real estate salesman.

Coming from a talented sporting family, Eketahuna centre and co-captain Robbie Anderson was always destined to make it on the sports fields.

Like his father Graeme ‘Bunter’, Anderson has represented Wairarapa-Bush in rugby and Wairarapa in cricket.

His twin sisters Kristy and Jenna excelled at hockey, and brother Jeremy has represented Wairarapa in cricket and had a stint as a junior driver in harness racing.

Anderson, 30, was born in Masterton and attended Eketahuna Primary School and Wairarapa College.

He moved to Christchurch to study, but that lasted for just one year.

“My rugby coach pulled me aside and said do you want to try and sell IT stuff, which I did for four years, and I’ve been in sales since,” he said.

Anderson returned home in 2014 and was pivotal in Eketahuna winning that year’s premier championship. He also made his Wai-Bush debut, playing in all eight Heartland Championship matches.

An overseas sojourn playing semi-professional rugby with Eketahuna teammate Johan van Vliet in the Netherlands followed. It was an experience he described as different.

“They had real big forward packs, but the backs were pretty ordinary. It was more a lifestyle, and the rugby standard would have been similar to club rugby here, but the backs weren’t quite as sharp.

“If you were the New Zealand import in the backline, you were expected to do everything.”

Back home, Anderson took up real estate with Ray White and resumed rugby with Eketahuna and Wai-Bush.

He led Eketahuna to victory in the 2019 Moose Kapene Cup for winning the first round of the premier club championship. However, his rep season was cut short with a debilitating ankle injury that required surgery.

Anderson is still bothered by the injury, but he hopes it will be good enough to resume his rep career.

“If I can get through unscathed and the arthritis doesn’t give me grief, I will look to play.

“I still get pain every now and again in the right ankle, but I’ve got painkillers now, and it’s definitely manageable.”

On the club season ahead, Anderson said although Eketahuna are struggling for numbers, he saids they have the talent and experience to be in finals contention.

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