Marlins eyeing big season
The Titahi Bay Marlins are beginning to make their presence felt.
The rugby league club’s senior men’s side are pumped about their promotion to the Wellington club reserve grade.
There they will be facing off against the second teams from the likes of Randwick, University and Porirua Vikings.
The Marlins would hit the season running, coach Riki Rupapere said.
‘‘We’ve been training since just after Christmas,’’ he said. ‘‘What we lack in size we’ll make up for in fitness and mobility. We’re not going to roll over – there’s some class in this team.’’
Rupapere said the team’s average age was about 22, which boded well for the future; but there was a group of old heads to provide experience too.
Though the club has been around for more than 30 years, it’s only since a handful of league lovers in Titahi Bay, notably Marlins chairman Jeff Risati, took control that the club has been on the up.
For much of its existence, the Marlins shared Cannons Creek Park with St George Dragons, before beginning a nomadic trek around grounds in Elsdon and Titahi Bay. Onepoto Park became its permanent home last year.
Club manager Mike Hall won administrator of the year at the Wellington Rugby League awards last year and his sterling work had helped the club develop, Risati said.
There is a women’s team this season for the first time and the two junior teams in the under-6 and under-8 grades in 2014 had now become four.
Hall said the support of Mana Community Grants, Superloans and BLK Sport was crucial in ensuring players had the right kit to represent their club.
Senior men’s sides from the Marlins, Porirua City Phoenix, Dragons and Vikings will play in a nines tournament at Cannons Creek Park on March 13 and 14.
League time: Key Titahi Bay Marlins personnel gearing up for the season. Back row, from left, Rawiri Holmes, Jeff Risati, Mike Hall, Riki Rupapere and Samuel Ikenasio and front row, Tawny Burgess, Lockyer Risati and Sherri Burgess.