Ha­turini plans big sea­son

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

Photo: KRIS DANDO

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).

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