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North Harbour Plate Winners

In what was a difficult season in regards to the management of injuries the Premiers finished on a strong note winning their last 5 games. They included wins against Western, Silverdale, East Coast Bays, Takapuna which was our first win over them at Onewa in some years, possibly this century, and East Coast bays again in the Plate Final 41-28 in a fine display of running rugby. The season may have been considerably different had we stayed healthy but key injuries early didn’t help our cause.  We lost our influential Number 8 Zach Moimoi in our first game and he didn’t return until 3 games from seasons end. That combined with both Jason Alexander and Nick Matthews absent overseas certainly affected our early-season games. We also lost Andriu Sucu, Carl Freimond, James Doyle and Curtis Reid for large chunks of the season.

On the positive side, we introduced several Under 21’s to Premier Rugby, including Danny Drake, Zac Clarke, Aaron Tunui, Peter Hurst, Callum Law, Louis Whetton, Alex Blackett, Andrew Lomu, Aston Pickens and Anaru Maru.

Congratulations to all players selected for representative teams throughout the season especially Bryn Hall and Nick Mayhew for the Blues. Bryn had a substantial impact on the team when he returned and Nick consistently played to a high level all year. Both were included in the Harbour ITM cup team along with James Doyle with Bryn being appointed Captain.

Other Representative players selected were Renata, Curtis and Courtney for the B’s.  Zach Moimoi, Blake Hall, Tyler Golightly, Zac Clarke, Ben Searle, and Danny Drake for the B’s Development. We also had tremendous value from Jason Alexander, our latest Centurion, Nick Matthews when he finally returned from overseas, Nick Regal and Viliami Siali both of whom played great rugby throughout the year. We also welcomed back Brad Tibbits but didn’t see the best of him due to ongoing injuries.

A special mention to our halfback and Captain Matty Markwick, consistently one of our best and led the team by example. A great return to Premier rugby.  Jason Blackett played very well in the absence of Curtis Reid and showed his versatility by scoring 3 tries in the Plate Final.  Elliot Bryers was introduced to Premier rugby this year and was our utility who played everywhere, never complained and gave his all.  Tu Tawhai, Ben Whitley, Ben Smith and Mike Lee played a couple of games with all acquitting themselves well and will be assets in the future.

Finally best wishes to Josh Cooke who is heading overseas. Josh has been a valued member of the Prems for the last 5 years, never fails to give anything but his best and is known for his defensive capabilities. We wish him the best in his future endeavours.

We would also like to thank the Reserves for assisting us with players and congratulate them on winning their Championship.

Finally, special thanks to Felicity whose contribution in a season plagued with injuries cannot be measured in words, it is a testament to her professionalism and talent that we were able to get all the players back on track for the last 5 weeks.

Also, my management team and helpers, Andrew Ridling, Gerard Boesley, Reagan Moslen and the guys that filled in, Simon Williamson, Glenn Whitley and Steve Larnder when required, many thanks for doing a great job.

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