Delighted to be back near home turf
The club captain of Titahi Bay’s only senior rugby league side is hoping to attract support from the sidelines at a ground that has not seen senior play for ‘‘decades’’.
The Marlins, who made it to the semi-finals in Senior 1 last year, were to play their first pre-season match on Saturday against St George’s premier grade side at Rangituhi Park in Takapuwahia, but it was called off due to the storm. They will hope for better weather against the Trentham Titans on March 10 and the Kapiti Bears on March 17.
Rangituhi Park does not have changing facilities or toilets and is not likely to be used for senior games during the regular season.
But Marlins’ skipper Jeff Risati says they would love to play more matches there as Rangituhi is the closest park to the part of Porirua the club represents.
He and friends can recall senior club matches on the suburban park ‘‘ back in the 1980s’’, but there has not been any sport, aside from junior footy, played there in many years.
‘‘Kura St is too small and we’ve been told that Onepoto [Park] is for softball and touch in summer, rugby and soccer in winter.
‘‘I’d love to have more home games in or close to Titahi Bay, it just seems fair.’’
The Marlins’ official home ground is actually Cannons Creek Park, which is a source of consternation among the players, Risati says.
After a couple of lean years, the Marlins are hoping to improve on their semifinal loss to the Titans last season. They had a year to remember, knocking out the Porirua Vikings in the playoffs.
‘‘We have fresh, new talent in the side. There is battling for some positions, which is good.
‘‘Most of us are Bay boys and want to be playing for the local team, rather than other Porirua sides. I hope that, with some games at Rangituhi, we might generate some local interest – this is a team that the west side of Porirua can support.’’
Sponsors have come on board too, with Low Cost Bins, Thirsty Liquor and Dynamic Sports backing the Marlins in 2012.
Each of the pre-season games at Rangituhui kicks off at 1pm. The regular season gets under way for all senior grades on March 31.
Marlins’ milestone: Titahi Bay Marlins’ club captain Jeff Risati says they are ‘‘very proud’’ to be bringing rugby league back to Porirua’s west, with a series of pre-season
games at Rangituhi Park.