150 games and still go­ing strong

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS - KRIS DANDO

Shane Hedges hopes his body holds up well enough to achieve a rare feat one day – stick around long enough to be in the same rugby team as his son.

The 29-year-old open­side flanker for Pare­mata Plimmerton’s pre­mier rugby side was re­cently recog­nised, along with first-five Blake Neve, for hit­ting 150 games at the top level.

Both were pre­sented a framed pho­to­graph at the club’s Old Timers Day last month.

‘‘Blake and I had no idea it was go­ing to hap­pen,’’ he said. ‘‘We’d spo­ken re­cently about us be­ing a cou­ple of old boys in the team, into our eighth sea­son.

‘‘But to get this, and have the boys do a haka for us, was re­ally spe­cial.’’

Neve and Hedges are part of a group with Pare­mata Plimmerton’s first team that have reached mile­stones, with a num­ber in the 100 and 200 club and oth­ers hav­ing earned their fiveyear blazer.

Hedges came through the ju­nior ranks at Ngati­toa Do­main, moved away, but has come back to the club. At one time he was com­mut­ing from Wan­ganui to play and train.

He coaches the un­der-8 Sharks, which his son Aden plays in and hopes one day to play at the se­nior level with him.

‘‘That’s the dream. There is a while to go be­fore that could hap­pen, but I would love to be on the same field with him one day. He’s a first-five, so he’s not tak­ing af­ter me at this point.’’

He can’t imag­ine not turning out in Pare­mata Plimmerton colours.

‘‘This is a fan­tas­tic group of guys and the en­vi­ron­ment is amaz­ing. The sup­port from the com­mu­nity is huge – we have good crowds in no mat­ter how the first team has been go­ing and the clu­b­rooms are full on a Satur­day.’’

The Swin­dale Shield win over John­sonville on Old Timers Day was the first at the top tier for Pare­mata Plimmerton in 30 years and Hedges said the feel­ing was savoured.

Play­ing in the Hard­ham Cup was ex­pected, but the team was im­prov­ing, he said.

‘‘We have re­ally given teams some shots and we’re of­ten in games, but let our­selves down in cru­cial patches.’’

PHOTO: SAN­DRA MCGILL

Shane Hedges in ac­tion against Marist St Pat’s last month.

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