New coach stamps mark at top

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
Salevi Tiatia and Daniel Sinclair
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
IN CHARGE: Salevi Tiatia and Daniel Sinclair will be hoping to guide Tukapa back to the top of the senior A table.

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There is something a bit odd about a rugby coach trying to give the traditional staunch pose when he's dressed in a pink tuxedo.

Daniel Sinclair tried to pull it off this week when he introduced himself as one of the new assistant senior A coaches at Tukapa.

His crime?

"We had a meeting last Sunday which I totally forgot about, so I was told I had to wear this to the interview," he said.

It appears there will be consequences for actions, or lack of them, under new head coach Salevi Tiatia.

The duo, along with former Taranaki and Hurricanes hooker Laurence Corlett, have taken the coaching reins from Kelvin McDowell who has left to concentrate on his role as Taranaki development coach.

He will be a hard act to follow after two titles and two semifinal appearances during his four-year tenure.

Tiatia, who made 37 appearances for Taranaki as a flanker then wing between 1993 and 1999, has already had a first hand look at how things are done in the top Tukapa side after serving as McDowell's assistant last season.

"We've all got our strengths and the main thing we have got is passion," Tiatia said when describing the coaching trio.

"We've also got a good bunch of guys who want to go out and play for each other, which makes our jobs a lot easier."

Making his job a bit tougher has been the sudden departure of last year's captain Carl Carmichael, who returned to his family farm in King Country after a Taranaki contract was not forthcoming.

"He's a big loss," Tiatia admitted. "But it does give the other guys a chance to step up."

Somewhat of a rugby nomad, Tiatia has been around a few clubs in Taranaki and is someone not afraid to switch from one side of town to the other.

For him, it's simply a case of going where the opportunities arose.

Things have taken a different path for Sinclair, who has been a dyed in the wool Tukapa man his entire senior career, which ended after a succession of frustrating knee operations.

He admits coaching has come around a little earlier than he thought it would.

"But I'm not going to turn it down, especially with Tukapa."

Although they have a number of fringe Taranaki reps in their squad, Sinclair saw the Tukapa side of 2014 as a team of grafters who will have to work together to garner success.

Both men agree their coaching styles centre on the club coming first. "I think the good thing about Laurence and I having not long finished playing, we know the things we don't like doing at training," Sinclair said.

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"With Salevi's ideas as well, we'll be able to freshen things up a bit."

- Taranaki Daily News

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