Par­sons proud of Har­bour’s suc­cess

North Shore Times - - LOCALJOBS - DAVID LONG

North Har­bour cap­tain James Par­sons says the suc­cess the prov­ince is hav­ing is worth more to him than any big over­seas con­tract.

The 30-year-old hooker has come to the point in his ca­reer when most play­ers in his sit­u­a­tion look for a big pay­day in Europe or Ja­pan, but Par­sons says he’s not in­ter­ested in any move and his heart re­mains at Har­bour.

He showed how much of a valu­able as­set he is on Thurs­day night, help­ing the prov­ince win their fourth straight game of the sea­son, with a 28-17 vic­tory over Coun­ties Manukau in Pukekohe.

‘‘I couldn’t be hap­pier,’’ Par­sons said. ‘‘Every­one al­ways says to me why haven’t I gone over­seas, but it’s be­cause of this.

‘‘This is what I wanted to do, I wanted to turn Har­bour around.

‘‘I came to Har­bour when we had the Shield, we were in the top di­vi­sion and I was a young fel­lah. That’s what I grew up thriv­ing to be in.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously, we’ve had our lows, but to still play a part, get us back to the Premier­ship and now hold­ing our own is spe­cial. This is some­thing I’ll hold more dearly to me than other op­por­tu­ni­ties out there.’’

Hav­ing won pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship last sea­son, few would have pre­dicted Har­bour to be un­de­feated af­ter four games in the top flight, but they boast at­tributes not many other prov­inces have, ex­pe­ri­ence and depth.

‘‘I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, but (coaches) Tom Coven­try and Dan Halan­gahu have got us work­ing our ar­ses off,’’ Par­sons said.

‘‘It shows if you work hard you get the re­wards. The win (over Coun­ties) wasn’t pretty and I don’t think we played very well, es­pe­cially up front and num­ber one to five were pretty dis­ap­pointed with the plat­form we set at scrum-time.

‘‘Com­ing off the back of the Auck­land game, we didn’t do the work be­cause of the short turn­around.

‘‘But we came back well in the sec­ond half and that’s prob­a­bly what got us home.’’

Har­bour’s 57-10 win over Auck­land on Septem­ber 3 at QBE Sta­dium raised plenty of eye­brows in rugby cir­cles but the fo­cus

‘‘Every­one al­ways says to me why haven't I gone over­seas, but it's be­cause of this.’’

North Har­bour cap­tain James Par­sons

was on how bad Auck­land were, rather than on the im­pres­sive per­for­mance from Har­bour.

The Bat­tle of the Bridge is al­ways one of the big­gest games of the sea­son for the two prov­inces and to win like Har­bour did could be seen as some­thing that’s al­ready made this sea­son a suc­cess.

But Par­sons says the play­ers didn’t get car­ried away with that re­sult and were able to move on.

‘‘We cher­ished that mo­ment but we’ve got some good lead­ers, great coaches and we switched onto Coun­ties re­ally quickly.

‘‘We don’t want to be one-week won­ders, we don’t want to rest on win­ning the Bat­tle of the Bridge.

‘‘We want to hold our own in the Premier­ship, so far so good, but North­land are fir­ing on all guns and we’ve got a week’s turn­around be­fore that game, but we’ll be mak­ing sure we front up for that.’’


James Par­sons went through the tough times at North Har­bour be­fore their cur­rent suc­cess.

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