The Tongan-born Wallaby rose to prominence while he was a schoolboy at Auckland’s Sacred Heart College.
”It was my first game at Eden Park in the city where I went to school and I’d been looking forward to performing there all year,” Tupou told news.com.au.
Tupou was sent off in the 24th minute of last week’s contest after a grass-cutter tackle on Blues opposite Ofa Tuungafasi. With wing Jordan Petaia sent off two minutes earlier, Tupou’s punishment left the Reds scrambling with just 13 players on the field for close to ten minutes.
The 22-year-old said his time on the sidelines ticked by very slowly and he was disappointed he couldn’t be on the field making a difference for his team.
”Back at training this week I spoke to [Reds head coach] Brad Thorn and we agreed the team can’t afford to have these moments.
”I definitely did extras on my tackling technique because being lazy and not using your arms more obviously when tackling with the shoulder can put the team in a difficult position.
”He still remembered the chubby, fat bloke [Tupou] who came to watch Blues training as a schoolboy.”
The Reds will finish their season with two consecutive home matches, the first of which will be an Australian derby against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.
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