About Mate Ivan Joseph Jakich
Mate Jakich From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mate Jakich (Mate I. J.) (1941–2010) was a former Auckland, New Zealand representative rugby player. Jakich was born in Auckland and educated at St Peter's College. He played rugby for his school as a student in the 1950s and later in life, as an old boy, despite the onset of a serious arthritic condition, he coached St Peter's College First Fifteens alongside the late Brother John Prendergast during the 1970s. Jakich also played rugby for the University of Auckland as a student. Jakich played "hundreds" of games for the Marist Auckland senior team and was selected by Fred Allen to represent the Auckland province and played in 61 games for the Auckland team which, from 1960 to 1963, was successful in defending the Ranfurly Shield a record 25 times. Jakich's playing style was typified by his "rampaging runs". Allen observed that Jakich was strong, moved around quickly and was easily lifted in lineouts. He took part in the game, Auckland v, South Africa, at Eden Park, Auckland on 30 July 1966. As a personality, Jakich was considered unforgettable and totally distinctive, full of courage and good humour.  References
1. ^ Rick Maxwell, St Peter's College, Auckland, Simerlocy Press, Auckland, 2008, pp. 23 and 48 (Note 207). 2. ^ "Mate Jakich RIP", St Peter's College Newsletter 03/10, March 5th, 2010, p. 12. 3. ^ "Old Boy's News, At Auckland University", St Peter's College Magazine, St Peter's College, Auckland, 1960, p. 80. 4. ^ John Brady, "A players View of the Needle?",Coaching Tool Box, August, 2002 5. ^ D.J. Cameron, One of Rugby's rare gems, NZ Herald, Saturday, March 6, 2010.
NZ HERALD 6 MARCH 2010 Mate Jakich, rugby player. Died aged 69.
There are hundreds of rugby stars and thousands of rugby players, and in between there are a handful of players who are characters, unforgettable and totally distinctive.
One of these, Mate Jakich, died last Monday. He was a rare rugby gem from St Peter's College, played hundreds of games for Marist, 61 matches as a loose forward for Auckland, and then spent close to 40 years being demolished by a crippling spinal problem.
Fred Allen, who first selected Jakich for Auckland at the height of the great Ranfurly Shield era in the 1960s, observed in 1999 that Mate picked a hard time to be an All Black, being a little short by lineout standards then and the likes of the Meads brothers, Kel Tremain and Brian Lochore. "But he would be ideal these days for he was strong, he got around the park and they could have lifted him in the lineout.
Former Auckland captain Bob Graham, a long-time friend, once recalled Mate playing at Tokoroa "but he seemed to be getting his feet tangled in the grass when he tried to jump. He seemed to be losing his co-ordination".
His mobility compromised, his robust vocal cords no longer able to sing in his rough-hewn Dalmatian baritone Pedro the Fisherman, that seemed the end of a vibrant, special personality.
But then, over those long, stricken years, one thing sustained him - a wife named Sue.
When Jakich was a rising rugby player, the graceful Sue must have been on the verge of a modelling career. Instead, she worked backstage in their Newmarket fish-and-chip shop, and as Jakich's powers declined Sue helped with his insurance work, then as a busy transport officer and for the last years, a 24-hour-a-day nurse.
Once, early in his illness, I sympathised with him that an All Black jersey had eluded him. "No regrets about that," said Jakich. "I have three kids, a wife who is a saint. Better than being an All Black."
And there are surely very few All Blacks who can count the number of friends that rugby (attracted by the Jakich courage and good humour) wrapped around Mate Jakich and his family.
- STAFF REPORTER