MPs’ good start to season
Politicians have kicked off their World Cup countdown by lacing up the boots and hitting the field.
The Parliamentary Rugby Team took on a rotation of Waitemata presidents teams on Saturday at Waitemata Park, winning convincingly 48-12.
The match featured Epsom List MP Paul Goldsmith.
List MP Alfred Ngaro says it was good to take the field against his former rugby club.
‘‘I thought some of my old friends might turn around and give me a bit of a roughing up, but no, they were actually quite easy on us.’’
This year the PRT is made up of a core of Parliamentary staff and family, with about nine MPs from different political parties.
The team is heading to the United Kingdom in September for the Parliamentary World Cup. New Zealand are four times champions in the tournament, which happens before each Rugby World Cup.
Ngaro, who plays at flanker, says the game was held in good spirit with ‘‘ no niggly play’’ and no major injuries.
‘‘Our forwards were quite dominant and just got some good roll on,’’ he says.
‘‘For us they were competi- tive, they are out there pushing us and tackling and we really had to make sure we got our combinations right.’’
Ngaro says although he didn’t score any tries on Saturday, he did set up three.
He had no choice, he says, because the game was played with a rule whereby the ball- carrier is only allowed to run 15 metres.
‘‘So while I was close to the line, I was being yelled at by the ref to release it.’’
Ngaro says Waitemata were good hosts and put on a nice spread afterwards.
‘‘It’s the chance to engage in local communities, to get people to see us for who we are. And it often demystifies or takes away some of the perceptions that are often created about Members of Parliament.’’
As well as a chance to play rugby, the day also raised about $3000 for the United North Piha Lifeguard Service through an auction and a PRT donation.
The four MPs, above, taking part in the match are Damien O’Connor, Mark Mitchell, Alfred Ngaro and Paul Goldsmith.
Epsom-based list MP Paul Goldsmith gathers the ball ahead of the Waitemata forwards.
Parliamentarians co-captains Te Atatu List MP Alfred Ngaro and Epsom List MP Damien O’Connor discuss tactics for the match.
Parliamentarians’ Billy Weepu takes on the defence.