Boss lady at Tauae Bulls

Friday November 01, 2019 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Tai Tupa and her mother Mama Ngai Tupa have been backing the Tauae Bulls for nearly 30 years. 19103128 Tai Tupa and her mother Mama Ngai Tupa have been backing the Tauae Bulls for nearly 30 years. 19103128

The Tupa family have about 25 people to breakfast and dinner, every day this week. The entire Tauae Bulls team and supporters are staying at their home – just like they have almost every year since Raro 7s started.

 

Tai Tupa isn’t in the kitchen cooking tonight’s roast chicken chop suey, rice and veges, though. She’s at the table, laying down the law.

Every mealtime, they have a team talk. The sports talk is led by coach Nooroa Tupa (her brother); the management talk is led by Tai.

Tupa is the team manager and has no time for old-fashioned ideas about men, women and rugby. She’s the boss.

 “They all stay at our big family house. It turns out good for us because it bonds the boys closer and quickly.

“I’m relaxed with my approach to the boys. When they’re together I prefer they call me Aunty. Some of the new boys, we need to put them at ease, so our house is their home.”

The family sponsors the team – they budget $12,000 a year. But the wider family all turn up with boxes of pawpaw and watermelon and more, to help out.

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