Topsy-turvy season for Porirua clubs
So close, yet so far, for two of the premier rugby sides in the Porirua basin this club rugby season.
Paremata Plimmerton and Northern United’s top sides had contrasting fortunes in the Swindale Shield.
The former registered one win and 12 losses in its second tilt at the top flight - although the win, over Johnsonville, was its first in the Swindale Shield since 1987 - while Norths had a seven-win, sixloss record that saw them miss out on a Jubilee Cup spot by an agonising two points.
Norths endured an incredible start, winning five of their first six games, but then lost five of seven to drop to the Hardham Cup.
The last day of the Swindale Shield, June 4, saw them lose 26-13 to Tawa, allowing their neighbours to sneak into the Jubilee Cup, which they went on to win.
Norths coach Gerrard Fasavalu said his first season in charge had more highs than lows, especially as the club made big inroads to reconnect with the community.
‘‘It depends whether you measure success as winning on the field, or whether it’s about developing young men and engaging more with our Porirua base,’’ he said. ‘‘We got pride and the supporters back to Norths. Yes, we got into the wrong mindset and the middle and back end of our season wasn’t flash [on the field], but there’s a good foundation we’ll build on for 2017.’’
Fasavalu was hopeful the second year of his three-year plan would see more consistent results and a place in the Jubilee Cup next season.
Down the road at Ngatitoa Domain, fellow first-year head coach Javan Brown was philosophical about Paremata Plimmerton’s season.
His team joined Norths in the Hardham Cup semifinals, dipping out to eventual winners Hutt Old Boys Marist.
Along with the first Swindale win, Paremata Plimmerton beat Avalon, OBU seconds, Johnsonville and Marist St Pat’s seconds in the Hardham Cup.
Brown said it was a ‘‘stepping stone’’ year for his side.
‘‘We can’t be too upset with how we ended the season,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a launching pad for next year and we want to have players realising their potential.’’
Northern United hooker Ethan Robinson-Mate in action for Northern United, who had an up-and-down season.