Players buoy patients

CIARA PRATT
Last updated 05:00 14/02/2014
Titans visit

HANGING OUT: Gold Coast Titan’s players from left, Ryan James, Siuatonga Likiliki and Mark Ioane visit Junior Tupotu, 9, and Tatyana-Rose Rasmussen, 7, in Waitakere Hospital.

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A whirlwind of blue stopped into Waitakere Hospital's Rangatira Ward this week.

Ryan James, Mark Ioane and Siuatonga Likiliki from the Gold Coast Titans visited children at the hospital before they take the field this weekend in the Dick Smith Auckland Nines.

It turns out they came to the right place with several rugby league and Titans fans among the patients.

Seven-year-old Tatyana-Rose Rasmussen from New Lynn was impressed at the height of the players.

"Even if the league is on and the Titans are playing at 2am, we still get up and watch," mum Ebony Andrews says.

"She's the loudest in the family when we have the TV on and she really likes the breakaway tries and tackles."

Titans prop Mark Ioane enjoys lifting the young patients' spirits.

"These visits are always optional for us but we like to do them and cheer the kids up.

"It's really important for us to get out into the community."

The Auckland Nines will see all 16 NRL teams go head-to-head over the two-day tournament at Eden Park for the first time this weekend.

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