Olsen Filipaina

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Olsen Filipaina
Personal information
Full name Olsen Orekewa Filipaina
Born (1957-04-23) 23 April 1957 (age 60)
Weight 130 kg (20 st 7 lb)
Playing information
Position Centre, Five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19??–1979 Mangere East
1980–84 Balmain Tigers 77 19 83 0 225
1985 Eastern Suburbs 8 0 21 0 42
1986–87 North Sydney 18 2 24 0 56
Total 103 21 128 0 323
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1977–86 New Zealand 28 6 44 0 108
1988 Western Samoa
Source: RLP

Olsen Orekewa Filipaina[1] is a New Zealand former rugby league player who represented both New Zealand and Western Samoa.

Playing career[edit]

Filipaina started his career with the Mangere East Hawks in the Auckland Rugby League competition. He was named the best back in the competition in 1977 before winning the Rothville Trophy as player of the year in 1978. In 1979 he was both the top try-scorer and the top goal-kicker in the competition.

Filipaina moved to Sydney in 1980, joining the Balmain Tigers. He spent five seasons at the club, playing in 77 games and ammasing 225 points. After a one-year spell at the Eastern Suburbs Roosters in 1985 Filipaina played for two years with the North Sydney Bears. During his time in the NSWRL Premiership Filipaina claims he suffered from racial abuse and sledging.[2]

In 1990, he captained Ryde-Eastwood to victory in the inaugural Metropolitan Cup final.[3]

Representative career[edit]

An Auckland representative, Filipaina was part of the Auckland side that defeated Great Britain, Australia and France in the space of 20 days in 1977.[4]

Filipaina was first picked for the New Zealand Kiwis in 1977. In 1983 and again in 1985 he was picked for the Kiwis despite playing in the Sydney reserve grade competition, both times inspiring the side to defeats of Australia.[5] He was named the man of the series in 1985.[6]

In total he played in 50 matches for the Kiwis, including 28 tests where he scored 108 points.[6] As of 2010, his 108 points places him sixth on the point scoring list.[7]

In 1988 he captained Western Samoa in the Pacific Cup.[8]

Later years[edit]

Filipaina remains in Sydney since his retirement, living in Ryde. He works the same garbage run the Balmain Tigers helped him get when he first moved to Australia.[5]

In 2007 he was named one of New Zealand Rugby League's "Legends of League".[9]

Personal life[edit]

Filipaina is the son of a Samoan boxer.[2]

Two of Olsen's brothers, Jerry and Alf, are involved in politics in Auckland.[10]

His son, Quin, played in the Harold Matthews Cup side for the Tigers.[11] Another son, John, was arrested in 2006 and charged with robbery.[12][13]


  1. ^ FILIPAINA, Olsen Orekewa 1977 - 86 - Kiwi #529 nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ a b Racism ruined career: NZ league great 9 News, 3 May 2006
  3. ^ YDH Feature: Olsen Filipaina rleague.com, 22 October 2008
  4. ^ Warriors To Mark 30th Anniversary Of Auckland's Unique Grand Slam rleague.com, 19 August 2007
  5. ^ a b Olsen the premier inspiration for picking Talau Sydney Morning Herald, 22 July 2003
  6. ^ a b Umbers, Lee (4 July 2010). "Olsen bumps off racism over the Tasman". Sunday News. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Playing Records nzrl.co.nz
  8. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. pp. 252–255. ISBN 9781869693312. 
  9. ^ Legends of League nzrl.co.nz
  10. ^ Christian Party to Target South Ak Electorates scoop.co.nz, 17 October 2007
  11. ^ Sons of legends step up The Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2007
  12. ^ "League great's son on hijack charges". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Police foil armoured van heist Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 2006