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J1 Maroon combined players that came through Junior grades in different teams, often playing against each other. The season kicked off with a team-building beach session with a trifecta of sand, hill, and sea sprints. Then came the hard work to lift fitness and begin contact, including a pre-season hit-out against Ponsonby-Kelston where we were well beaten but did not give up.

J1 Maroon had a good mix of size, skill, and speed, and a team culture built around hard work, enjoying playing rugby, and having fun with mates. On the back of a simple game plan, the forward pack steamrolled the opposition to create go-forward that allowed the backs to work their magic, whether direct in the midfield or going wide with pace. The team has scored some dazzling tries this year.

While scoring tries is pleasing, the focus on tackling has been felt all year. The offensive-defence “Maroon Wall” has been a pleasure to watch - not sure the opposition felt that way, but they definitely felt something! The team has played rugby well above their age group with opposition coaches regularly commenting they are impressed with our style of rugby, power, and skill level. The J1 Maroon record for 2023 was 14 WINS, 1 LOSS with 816 points for and 255 points against. A record the team can be immensely proud of.

A huge thank you to parents and supporters who braved holding tackle bags at training and cheered on from the sidelines. And to the Cote old boys who were at most games. The team really appreciate your support, you have been awesome! To those players returning to J1 next year, lead the way and take it to another level. For those heading to college, wishing you all the best for your next chapter!

Lastly from Tomo, Jason, Debs, and Dan, it has been a pleasure being a part of this team. It has been a massive year! We are very proud of the team’s achievements!


J1 Maroon

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