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Price’s move up in the air

Brock Price made an impact off the bench for Wai-Bush in the 2019 Heartland Championship. PHOTOS/FILE


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Dual Wairarapa representative Brock Price’s move across the Tasman remains up in the air.

Price, who has represented Wairarapa at cricket and Wairarapa-Bush in rugby, had intended to move to Australia, but with their border closed because of the covid-19 pandemic, the planned shift is on hold.

“It’s all go. I’ve just got to wait for the virus to blow over. I’m looking at getting into long-haul trucking but it’s all up in the air at the moment with everything that’s going on,” Price said.

“The borders might not be open and I might be here playing cricket again next season but there’s no more rugby for me here.”

The 31-year-old Price said Sydney is the first destination for him and his partner Dominique. The couple has been lifelong friends.

“We were family friends, her parents and my parents. We were born in the same hospital and three hours apart, I was on May 18 and she was on May 19, in Kogarah in Sydney.”

Price showed promise in both sports as a youngster, representing the province at age-group level. His senior representative debut came in cricket as a 15-year-old Rathkeale College student against Taranaki in a Hawke Cup elimination series match.

An early highlight for Price was as part of the Rathkeale College side who made the NZ Cricket Gillette Cup finals in 2006.

Price was also a more-than-useful medium pace bowler for club and region.

Future Black Cap Doug Bracewell and NZ Under-19 international Andy Dodd were also part of that team who came up against future international stars Kane Williamson [Tauranga Boys High School] and Tim Southee [King’s College] during the tournament, in which Rathkeale finished seventh.

Price estimated that he played about 70 games for Wairarapa and said he could have achieved higher honours if he had taken his cricket more seriously earlier. He gave a lot of credit for his recent form to Wairarapa coach Neil Perry.

“I’ve always loved my rugby but over the past four or five years I’ve really pushed my cricket,” he said.

“I reckon if I’d had Neil coaching me earlier then yes, I could’ve gone on and played at a higher level.

“It’s just the way he comes across and his one-on-one with players, he’s helped me a lot and the way he explains things has made it a lot easier.”

“A bit of it is with technique but I think a lot of it has come with age, just maturing, especially with cricket, and having that patience when batting and staying out there.”

Price said his cricket highlights came in the 2017-18 season when he finally realised his batting potential with three scintillating scores.

Price on his way to scoring 241 in the 2018 Bidwill Cup final.

“My 241 in the final to win the Bidwill Cup [for Lansdowne] and also probably those back-to-back hundreds I scored, one against Hawke’s Bay [108] and then against Manawatu [116 not out].”

Price had a disappointing return in the 2019-20 Furlong Cup competition, scoring only 131 runs at an average of 18.71. His top representative score was 96 against Whanganui at the Chapple Cup tournament in Napier in November.

However, Price did finish the season in style, scoring 165 in Burger King Red Star’s win over Jackson Street Bar Lansdowne in the Bidwill Cup final.

That took his season total to 1009 runs for Lansdowne, and Red Star, who he transferred to early in the season.

If Price’s entrance into representative cricket was rather subdued, his debut for Wairarapa-Bush was anything but, in a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Hawke’s Bay in 2015.

Price, who was then a bruising flanker, followed up on a kick from halfway and took advantage of sloppy defending to score Wai-Bush’s only try in the 58-7 defeat.

“It was huge. It’s something that not many people get to say that they’ve done, we always knew it was going to be a tough game. It was a real highlight of my rugby career that’s for sure.”

Price only made two more appearances for Wai-Bush that season, and it would be another four years before he pulled on the green and red again.

A season in England in 2018-19 for Colchester in the national second division saw Price transfer his talents to the backline, which he continued on his return to his Carterton club.

His strong running caught the attention of Wai-Bush coach Joe Harwood and he became mainly an impact player during the 2019 Heartland season, which ended with the team being knocked out by eventual champions North Otago in the Meads Cup semifinals.

“We had a great side, a great bunch of guys too, great coaches, and we were really unlucky.”

Price said the focus on local players was a bit part of their success.

“I thought it was great. It gave locals the chance to play for Wairarapa-Bush.

“I know in the past few years, a few imports were brought in and a few of the local players missed out, and from the coaches’ point of view a local team was really good and it just gave that bonding that we needed.”

Price finished with five tries from his 10-game career.

Price hopes to play cricket and maybe some rugby, if and when his body recovers, once settled across the Tasman.

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