Scott Willoughby both willing and able
Waimate centre Scott Willoughby is a reluctant rugby player who is impressing everybody.
Willoughby's top sports choice was football but Waimate is without a team so he had to switch to the oval ball, it seems with great success.
In the South Canterbury-North Otago combined under-18 competition he chalked up 47 points courtesy of six tries, a penalty and seven conversions as his side demolished Roncalli 74-0 last Saturday.
The midweek interschool against Ellesmere was a much lower scoring affair, 31-13, but Willoughby scored all his team's points in their win, including three tries.
The week before he posted 36 points against St Kevins of Oamaru, with four tries and kicking eight of 11 attempts at goal.
Willoughby is an intelligent young man and realises he rides on the back of a team effort.
"Every game is a challenge and you take them one at a time," he said.
"It's been good but Mackenzie and Timaru Boys' High School are sides that will really test us."
The talented sportsman emigrated from England with his family when he was 11, after his mum accepted a job as head of maths at Waimate High School.
For several years he continued to play football until he was too old for the Waimate under-16 side, and because there were no other teams he decided to switch codes.
That background means the left-footed goalkicker can also use his right to get him out of trouble.
He is his school's senior athletics champion two years in succession so he also possesses plenty of pace, which has seem him train with the senior South Canterbury sevens side.
Waimate coach Barry Caird rates his utility back highly.
His side has made an unbeaten start to the season with three wins, with Willoughby clearly a key figure in those victories.
"Scott has two things you can't coach, size and sheer speed," said Caird, who added that Willoughby was an intelligent player and his football skills were also being well utilised.
"One try, he grubber kicked twice to score and twisted to pick up the ball behind him, it was very clever. Scott is also well-balanced and can step at pace."
Caird said his young charge was a pleasure to coach.
"He is keen to learn, a polite, respectful young man."
Willoughby said while he still loved football, where he played as a midfielder, and regularly played indoor in Oamaru, rugby was now his No1 sport.
The Timaru Herald