Wednesday April 11, 2018
Johnsonville rugby now on a roll Johnsonville Rugby Club chairman Kerry Walsh has high hopes for this season. He says the club has been slowly rebuilding and they are in a very good place. “We only lost one game in the second round of the competition last year and that was to Upper Hutt, the eventual winners. We had actually beaten them but they won on points.” With a number of key players now recovered from early season injury, as well as a new and very young side finding their feet, things are starting to look very good indeed, he says. He singled out three key young players as having great potential. “We’ve got prop PJ Scheck, Simi Navoka, who’s a prop/loose forward and Dylan Patu as loose forward.” “They’re all eligible to play for the Colts, but they’re in the premier league,” said Kerry. Working alongside coach Logan Illi is captain Kane
Thomson, who is currently filling a role as a captain/ assistant coach. After a shaky start in their first three games this season, which Kerry says was mainly due to injuries, they showed a massive improvement against Wainui last week with the final score of 21-32. On Saturday the team faces a big test as they play Marist-St Pat’s. “They’re a top side. That’s going to test us. We’ll really need to show our mettle.” He says they are expecting a great turn-out for the match, to be played on their home ground, Helston Park in Paparangi. “We get great local support in the local community,” he says. This week he singles out Ben and Antoinette Thomas, the owners of Newlands New World, who have sponsored this advertorial. “We have to thank them so very much for this.” PBA
The Johnsonville team in action during an early season trip to Spotswood in Taranaki.
LOCAL RUGBY RESULTS: • Premier (Swindale Shield)
Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 32-21 Petone beat Tawa 36-9 Poneke beat Northern United 40-35
• Premier Reserve (Harper Lock Shield)
Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 33-26 Old Boys University beat Upper Hutt 85-5 Petone beat Tawa 22-19 Northern United beat Poneke 34-7
• First Grade (Thompson Memorial Cup)
Marist St Pats beat Northern United by default Old Boys University beat Tawa 54-5.
• 85 kg Restricted (Knock-Out)
Paraparaumu beat Johnsonville by default Avalon beat Old Boys University 39-0 Tawa beat Western Suburbs 29-7
with Jacob Page
Mollie Nicol and Mila Van der Walt with their medals shortly after their win. PHOTO: Steve McArthur
Queen Margaret Rowers win gold Two Year 11 Queen Margaret College students are national age group rowing champions following the Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Ruataniwha last month. Mila Van der Wilt and Mollie Nicol won gold in the under-15 Girls Double Sculls with a time of 7.58 minutes, beating their closest opponent by eight seconds. They are the first Queen Margaret College students to win gold at Maadi, the national championship event for high school rowers. The pair had won in the Double Sculls at all events leading up to Maadi, including at the KR1 and KR2 regattas at Lake Karapiro and the North Island Secondary School Championships. Mila says it was an “amazing experience” to win the gold. “QMC has never won a Maadi gold before so to be the first two people to do that and to make
history was pretty cool. It was great that all our hard work paid off,” Mollie adds. The pair credit their successful win to a lot of training and support from their teammates and coach, Roy Pickard. “Before Maadi we practised 10 times a week, which included before and after school sessions,” Mila says. As well as competing in the U15 Double Scull, Mollie competed in the U17 Girls 4 and came eighth in the B Final and fifth in the under-16 Girls Single B Final. Mila competed in the U15 Girls 4 and the team came fifth in the A Finals. Both agree, however, that while they enjoyed all their races, the Double is always their favourite. “We always have so much fun at training,” Mila says.
Friendly Games need some fire Being fully immersed and on the ground at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, I must tip my hat to the Aussies on being quality hosts - something New Zealand could learn from. Dubbed ’The Friendly Games’, the 11-day event is certainly living up to that billing. A night at the swimming and track cycling has been enjoyable with volunteers friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Public transport is a breeze to use. The cost is built into your ticket price so you simply hop on and hop off. The track cycling at the Anna Meares Velodrome (or as Kiwis named it, The Sarah Ulmer Velodrome) was more than two hours away from our Broadbeach base. Despite needing a tram, train and bus to get there, it was easily achievable.
I must admit – there’s a lack of intensity in some of the events, the celebrations aren’t filled with as much visible raw emotion of an Olympics or even World Championships. That’s not to say the athletes aren’t trying but it’s certainly not a career-defining event for most. The New Zealand flag continues to look a lot like the Australian one which is frustrating as a spectator - but we’ve voted on that issue, haven’t we? The stadium experience trumps everything in New Zealand. The ease of getting to the venue, finding your seat, getting food and then leaving again eclipses New Zealand on our best night. It’s fun to watch more obscure sports have their moment in the sun but there is a feeling Commonwealth glory doesn’t mean as much as it once did.
Independent Herald 11-04-18