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Alex Fidow joins impressive list of bronze boot winners

Australian Rugby

Lynn McConnell     07 Oct 2015     Australian Rugby

Fidow was a stand-out performer during the three games New Zealand played in the series, also involving Australian Barbarians and Samoan Schools.

Fidow was in his second year with the New Zealand Schools side but said the tournament had been quite a challenge this year and New Zealand had employed a different style of play with more kicking involved, largely due to the excellent tactical control of first five-eighths Wiseguy Faiane.

New Zealand had finished comfortable 32-3 winners over Australia after it had appeared when playing the Australian Barbarians side, or Australia B, for a 23-22 win that they were in for a much tougher game.

"The Barbarians team were a lot more physical," Fidow said, "they came at us a lot harder."

Now that his season is over, Fidow is concentrating on finishing his studies at Scots College and is looking to attend Victoria University next year with a view to study in the early childhood teaching area.

"I'm staying in Wellington and the dream is to one day win a professional contract," he said. In the meantime he will be playing his club rugby for the Oriental Rongotai club, the side that helped his earlier development in the game.

The season had been a good one for Fidow and he felt he was on track with his career plan.

"The last two years have been good in the New Zealand Schools team under coach Dave Hewett. He has a lot of knowledge and good input and that has helped my development," Fidow said.

While he had taken things quietly in his first year with the side, he felt he had come out of his shell more and had a greater contribution to make this year.

He put that down to working with younger players and passing on the advice he had already received in his career to help their development. He liked the idea of giving something back, he said.

It had also helped that he made significant gains in reducing his weight this year, dropping from 148kg to 130kg, and he has set himself a goal of getting down to 120kg.

"It's not too hard to do if I put my mind to it and keep my mindset," he said.

So far as the technical side of his game was concerned he was happy with his scrummaging and set piece work but was always keen to improve in his core roles.

Inspiration has come from fellow front rowers Ben Franks who impressed him with the hard work he put in while he had grown up watching Keven Mealamu and liked the way he played.

And he liked the way All Blacks captain Richie McCaw applied his leadership skills in the game.

Previous winners of the Bronze Boot, awarded by the opposing side to the most constructive player in a Test series are:

1992 Jeff Wilson (Cargill High)
1993 Carlos Spencer (Waiopehu College)
1995 Quintan Sanft (De La Salle)
1996 Ashley Barron (Kings' High)
1997 Carl Hayman (Kings' High)
1998 Jerry Collins (St Patricks, Town)
1999 Cameron McIntyre (St Bede's)
2000 Ben Atiga (Auckland Grammar)
2002 Liam Messam (Rotorua Boys')
2003 Aaron Bancroft (Marlborough Boys')
2004 Victor Vito (Scots College)
2005 Zarhn Commerer (New Plymouth Boys')
2006 Luke Braid (Tauranga Boys')
2007 Charlie Ngatai (Gisborne Boys')
2008 Blade Thomson (Gisborne Boys')
2009 Sam Cane (Reporoa College)
2010 Matt McGahan (Mount Albert Grammar)
2011 Ardie Savea (Rongotai)
2012 James Tucker (St Bede's)
2013 Akira Ioane (Auckland Grammar)
2014 Patelisio Tomkinson (Otago Boys')