Sports Stars Engaged: ‘We're The Perfect Match'
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|March 8, 2021
A magical proposal took the netballer by surprise
Karyn Henger

She’s one of New Zealand’s rising netball stars and just as her career is heating up, so is her love life!

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic defender and Silver Fern hopeful Georgia Tong has found her keeper in fiancé Raniera Takarangi, who dropped to one knee in a romantic summer proposal.

The keen rugby player, who has represented both Waikato and Southland, says he always knew that one day they would be husband and wife, but their busy sporting careers meant the timing was never right – until he was struck by a revelation.

“Late last year, I was flying back to Invercargill after playing a game of rugby in Northland and I’m not sure quite what happened, but I just suddenly had this feeling that now was the right time for us,” Raniera reveals. “Back then, I was based in Southland for rugby and Georgia was in Hamilton, and I’d had enough of having this distance between us.”

So the 27-year-old hung up his rugby boots and moved to be with his soulmate, all the while planning the grand proposal. He called on Michael Hill jewellers to design a simple diamond engagement ring, set in a white-gold band, knowing his bride-to-be wouldn’t want anything too “out there”.

Raniera’s opportunity to ask Georgia’s father Simon for his blessing came the day he left Invercargill for good. The netballer picked him up from the airport, but had inadvertently spilled oil on the car engine when she’d filled up on the way.

“The car started smoking,” Raniera explains, “so I used that as an excuse to stop in at her dad’s place and get him to check the engine.”

Huddled under the car bonnet with his future father-in-law, Raniera made his play. “I was stumbling over my words a bit, but then he just started smiling and said, ‘Of course’, and gave me a hug.”

It was, he jokes, “almost more nerve-wracking than the proposal itself”!

The talented halfback then arranged for his family, including Mum Lesley, Dad Daniel, sister Riria and her partner Aaron, to get involved by organising a faux birthday brunch for his mum in Taranaki. He and Georgia drove down from Hamilton, then with everything in place for the next day, the couple went to bed.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW ZEALAND WOMAN'S WEEKLYView All

THE WAY we were: REAL LIFE REIGNS IN A NEW READ MADE WITH DUCHESS KATE

Happy snapper Kate has helped everyday people share their lockdown memories.

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

What, this OLD THING?

MICHELE A’COURT IS A PROUD FAN OF SECOND-HAND

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

WIDOW SLAM-DUNKED

Vanessa Bryant has spent the past year rebuilding her life after the tragic death of her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna. But there is more heartache on the horizon as the legal battle with her mother continues over Kobe’s estate.

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

Tamati's baby dream: WE HAVE MORE LOVE TO GIVE

THE DEVOTED DADS CAN'T WAIT TO ADD TO THEIR HAPPY FAMILY

7 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

NOT SO fonda that!

JANE REVEALS WHY SHE’S STAYING SINGLE

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

JEN'S SECOND CHANCE: I haven't given up on love

THE ACTRESS HAS COME THROUGH HEARTACHE WITH FLYING COLOURS

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

CRY ME A RIVER: Kate's not to blame!

The Duchess of Cambridge has maintained a dignified silence over bombshell claims made by her brother-in-law Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in their controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey. But Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith has recently waded into the fray, saying he doesn’t believe Meghan’s claim that Kate made her cry in the lead-up to her wedding.

1 min read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

ORIGINAL POP STARS: Finding TrueBliss in ours 40s

THE TRAILBLAZERS RELIVE THE DREAM ALL OVER AGAIN!

6 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

Danger beyond the pyramids: ‘OUR INDIAN A JONES ADVENTURE'

KIWI ARCHAEOLOGIST, TEACHER AND MUM-OF-THREE BEX JEFFERY, 40, WAS LIVING IN SUDAN WHEN SHE AND HER FAMILY DECIDED TO TAKE A WEEKLONG HOLIDAY IN THE DESERT. WHEN THEY CAME BACK, THE WORLD WAS IN LOCKDOWN

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021

8 HABITS of healthy people

EATING WELL AND EXERCISING GO A LONG WAY, BUT FIGHTING-FIT FOLK ALSO HAVE OTHER BEHAVIOURS IN COMMON. READ ON FOR THEIR TOP LIFESTYLE TIPS AND HOW YOU CAN ADOPT THEM

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
April 12, 2021