Haturini plans big season
He was out – but they pulled him back in. Steve Haturini is the new premier coach of Northern United Rugby Football Club’s premier side for 2015. He has met the club players and coaching staff since his appointment and is keen to hit the ground running.
‘‘We’re mapping out the preseason and season already,’’ he said. ‘‘With the early start next year [ club rugby starts midMarch], it’s important we get the right things in place now.
‘‘I’m so, so excited to be back here and just love Norths, the people and community in Porirua.
‘‘ The talent at this club is unbelievably scary, but we’re going to need to hit our straps fairly well and fairly quickly.’’
Haturini was the premier coach at Norths from 2001 till 2004, winning the Swindale Shield in 2003 and Jubilee Cup in 2004.
The two trophies were the first for the amalgamated Porirua/ Titahi Bay side and set them on their way to a golden period.
Haturini had previously won the Jubilee Cup with Poneke in 1996.
He said he didn’t like to be coaching a side for more than three years, so went to Spain in 2005 to coach a club side and the country’s national team.
He had five years coaching in Australia and returned to New Zealand 18 months ago.
He heaped praise on what his predecessor, Thomas Perenara, had achieved, but accepted that winning the second-tier Hardham Cup in 2013 and losing in the final of the same competition last season was not enough for the dyed-in-the-wool Norths faithful.
Instant success with the premiers was an expectation every coach had to deal with, he said.
‘‘Thomas and co have done a great job and they were only a few games away from playing in the Jubilee Cup each year,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s life. It’s now up to me and the coaching team to put the principles I have of hard work and good, solid basics of rugby into play.
‘‘Yes, there is that expectation from people in Porirua, but I have expectations of myself and my systems.’’
So does he expect the days of Norths’ open, running rugby to fall away?
‘‘No. Unlike 10 years ago, the modern rugby player is a ball player and the talent will always be there.
‘‘The skill level has risen. What I’m keen on is the hard yards, doing the donkey work.
‘‘Winning kickoffs, good lineouts and scrums, playing smart with or against Wellington’s wind. Everyone has a job and we need to get back to basics.
‘‘It may be a bit more boring, but I’m confident we’re going to be successful.’’
Brains trust: Northern United coaching staff in 2015. Back row, from left, Richard Higgins (premier 1 scrum coach), Tane Langdon-Lane (premier 2 head coach), Ray Aliva (premier 2 manager), Siuai Fiso (premier 2 assistant coach). Front row, from left, Mike Parker (premier 1 manager), Steve Bachop (coaching co-ordinator), Tom Martin (director of rugby), Steve Haturini (premier 1 head coach).