Pre-season match for Marlins
The Titahi Bay Marlins women’s rugby league side will play Randwick Kingfishers on March 5 at Whakatiki Park in Upper Hutt in the inaugural Challenge Cup match.
Randwick, Whiti Te Ra and University have introduced women’s league teams this year, boosting the regular season competition to eight teams.
Marlins coach Mike Hall said it was a fantastic sign for women’s rugby league in the Wellington region and that the extra competition would provide a real spur for the game.
Otaki-based Whiti Te Ra, which formerly played in the Manawatu competition, will have a men’s team in the premier grade, meaning the Marlins’ men’s team will play in reserve grade this year.
It is expected they will be granted entry into the premier competition in 2017.
Last year’s Wellington premier club titles were won by Te Aroha Eels (men) and Linton Cobras (women). Te Aroha beat Wainui Lions 36-6 in the men’s final and Linton retained their title by beating Te Aroha in the women’s final.
Wellington rugby league received some good news at the annual New Zealand Rugby League awards last week when Carey Clements was given a distinguished service award to mark his 25 years of involvement in the game as an administrator and historian, and when Simon Hula of Wainuiomata was named Volunteer of the Year.
The first event of the 2016 Wellington club league season will be the Nardo Va’a Memorial 9s, set down for February 27. This year the tournament will include women’s and 17s grades.