Marlins’ home advantage
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.