Wanderers rugby players and half-brothers, Jesse Pitman-Joass and Trael Joass, will do what they do in life to get them through their 2016 Tasman Makos campaign – rely on each other.
Trael, a 23-year-old centre, is in his second year as a Mako, while Jesse, a 24-year-old fullback, is in his first year.
The self-described best friends, played together for the first time in the Makos backline during Friday’s 24-14 preseason win over the Manawatu Turbos.
They were both watched by cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents, who all made a point of being there for the special moment.
The brothers have the same father but different mothers.
“We’ve got each other’s backs, but at the end of the day we both have jobs to do and if we don’t nail it we won’t be in the team.”
The brothers used to play one-on-one rugby against each other down at Whangarei Airport.
“We used to play each other all the time or run alongside the planes and race them as they took off,” Jesse says.
“We used to play until one of us got sick of it and started crying.”
Trael admits it was usually him who was left in tears.
While Jesse looks to “soak it all in” during his first Makos campaign, Trael is keen to push for Super Rugby honours.
“The likes of Kieron Fonotia are on their way out at the end of this year, so there’s an opportunity for me to step up and make a bigger role for myself.
“I want to cement a position at 13.
“A great 13 can shut down a team defensively and that’s what every midfielder is working towards.
“I’ve had a few nods in a few directions for possible [Super Rugby] opportunities but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”
Both of them agreed that if the Makos have a successful 2016 campaign then their individual stocks will rise at the same time.
The Makos will open their Mitre 10 Cup campaign against Waikato in Blenheim on Sunday at 4.35pm.
Nelson’s first chance to see the team during the competition wiill come on Saturday, September 3, when they play Taranaki at Trafalgar Park at 2.35pm during the third round, after playing Canterbury in Christchurch.