Taufua call was 'one of worst'
Jordan Taufua was a Tasman Mako starting the week but now the rugged loose forward is on the bench for Canterbury in their NPC premiership semifinal against Taranaki tomorrow in Christchurch.
On loan to Tasman, Canterbury exercised their contractual right to recall Taufua after a large number of injuries to their loose forward stocks left them little choice.
The call surprised Taufua, who now instead of preparing for a championship semifinal against Otago tonight in Dunedin is in premiership mode ahead of Canterbury's semifinal clash at AMI Stadium.
The decision by Canterbury wasn't received well in the northern parts of the South Island, but Taufua is accepting of what has transpired and is now focused on bringing his devastating form of this season to the Canterbury scene.
"It's been an up and down sort of week," Taufua said.
"But I'm just really glad to be here and be with the boys; it was a shock to get the call and it was really tough to leave Tasman.
"But it was part of my contract agreement and I am a man of my word so here I am."
Taufua has donned the Canterbury colours already this year as a part of coach Tabai Matson's wider training group at the beginning of the season.
So he is no stranger to the Canterbury environment. While the move was toughest on Taufua, who had established himself as a key part of the Tasman side, for Matson making the call wasn't much easier.
He described making the call to his good mate Leon MacDonald as one of worst he has made during his time in rugby.
"Leon is a good mate, we played together and I also coached him in Japan and we have been in touch all year so it was a tough call to make," Matson said.
"And I have total empathy for them up there; this is our biggest game of the year and they too are going into the same thing this weekend but without one of their stars this season.
"I expect total disgust and frustration from them, I really understand."
Rubbing salt into the wound of the Tasman supporters yesterday was the fact Taufua was missing from the starting lineup named by Matson to take on Taranaki tomorrow.
He's on the bench, with Luke Whitelock and Jed Brown in the starting lineup, although it is expected Taufua will get some game time. Fairfax
What: ITM Cup championship semifinal, Tasman Makos versus Otago Razorbacks.
Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.
When: Tonight, 7.35pm, Sky Sport.
Referee: Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty).
- The Marlborough Express