Mar­lins’ home ad­van­tage

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

The Ti­tahi Bay Mar­lins are ready to roll for the up­com­ing rugby league sea­son, buoyed by grow­ing sup­port and a new home ground.

The Mar­lins, who last year made the semi-fi­nals in the Se­nior 1 grade for the sec­ond year in a row, of­fi­cially had Can­nons Creek Park as their ‘‘home’’ venue for many years.

Last year they played a hand­ful of games on Ti­tahi Bay In­ter­me­di­ate’s field, and it is now their per­ma­nent base.

Mar­lins’ cap­tain Jeff Risati is over­joyed the team are now an­chored in the Bay and wants to build up home sup­port for his side.

‘‘It’s the first time in 30 years we’re play­ing in Ti­tahi Bay.

‘‘The older play­ers from the club are pleased and we’re hop­ing it’s go­ing to be the kick rugby league needs in this part of Porirua.’’

Num­bers for the Mar­lins – who have just one se­nior team – are at about 20, although more have in­di­cated in­ter­est dur­ing pre-sea­son, Risati says.

Their success last year was built on hard graft and team­work, he says, as they are one of the small­est teams in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Pacy backs and hard-hit­ting for­wards were their hall­mark, but Risati wants the side to go one bet­ter in 2013.

‘‘We’re go­ing to try and win the com­pe­ti­tion, two years into the semis speaks vol­umes about where we are, but we’d love to go one bet­ter.

‘‘Peo­ple thought [last year’s ef­fort] was a bit of a fluke but we de­mol­ished plenty of teams.’’

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Tren­tham Ti­tans will again be the ones to beat, with the Vik­ings’ Se­nior 1 sides tough to get past as well, Risati says.

The Mar­lins train ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day from 6pm at Els­don Park.

Home­com­ing: Ti­tahi Bay Mar­lins’ for­wards Taraea Camp­bell and Jeff Risati can’t wait for the new sea­son to kick in, es­pe­cially as they will be play­ing in the Bay.

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