Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thurs, March 14, 2013
24 --- Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, March 14, 2013 www.times.co.nz FAmous brand FAMOUS BRAND FAMOUS BRAND Carton damaged Carton damaged Carton damaged FAMOUS BRAND SAVE BIG BUCKS 122127 FOLLOW US ON IVAN AGNEW: Cometh the hour, cometh the man, was the adage that personified the feats of Black Sox softball captain Rhys Casley and Black Caps cricketer Hamish Rutherford last week. ➤ Page 23 CHRIS HANLEY AND MIKE LIGHTFOOT Photo supplied / Geoff Ridder By DANIEL SILVERTON FORMER All Blacks’ second fve-eighths Pita Alatini is the new director of rugby and premier team coach at Pakuranga United. Alatini replaces Paul Feeney, who’s leaving to concentrate on his promotion to Auckland ITM Cup assistant coach alongside fellow former Pakuranga rugby director Wayne Pivac. “Coaching has always been in the back of the mind now I’m get- ting a bit older,” says Alatini, 35. “It’s a natural progression after playing so long.” Alatini represented four pro- vincial unions, four Super Rugby franchises, two Japanese clubs and played 20 matches for the All Blacks before arriving at Bell Park last season. He considered being a player- coach this year, but was advised by Feeney, who’s acting as a mentor to his former charge, to focus on the new roles. “I’ll keep myself ft just in case,” says Alatini. “There are some good young kids coming through and I don’t want to stand in their way. I want to make sure they have every opportunity of playing premiers and further honours. “I’ve spent time with him [Feeney] to plan for the transition. I’m taking on board what he’s say- ing and from there I’ll add what I can see. “I did a little coaching in Japan as a backs coach, so this will be quite a big challenge but I’m excited by it all.” Pakuranga general man- ager Steve Hackett says Alatini is a third coaching coup for the club after the appointments of Pivac and Feeney. “As an ex-All Black, Pita will open a lot of doors for us to achieve the goals the club has set. Pita is a very approachable high achiever, who works well with both adults and children. We’re over the moon to have him on board. “Pita has been within our club structure over the past 12 months, lives in our community and is totally committed to see- ing Pakuranga United continue to achieve.” Alatini will commence as direc- tor of rugby later this month in time for round one of Auckland club rugby’s Alan McEvoy Shield regular season. THE Waka Nathan Challenge ■ Cup kicked off last Saturday, with Pakuranga big winners over the new entity on the Auckland club scene, Maungarua. Te Papapa Onehunga and Mt Wellington combined to feld a premier team over the past fve seasons and have now merged at all levels to form Maungarua. “It’s an exciting period for this joint venture. It’s a fresh start and there’s no doubt they’ll be doing everything possible to make the start a good one,” says Auckland Rugby operations manager Matt McHardy. Maungarua got off to an inaus- picious beginning though, beaten 5-70 by Pakuranga at Bell Park. The other major change to the premier draw is the withdrawal of Teachers Eastern, which is focus- ing on its junior ranks. McHardy says it’s the frst step towards a merger with Grammar Carlton. “This is going to be a positive move for both clubs. “While they’re looking to com- plete a formal merge, it was thought this season they’d start by promoting their senior players to Grammar Carlton.” Waka Nathan Challenge Cup, round one: Ponsonby 62 Eden 8, University 38 Waitakere City 24, Suburbs 69 East Tamaki 5, Wait- emata 17 Papatoetoe 17, Otahuhu 22 Marist 7, Pakuranga 70 Maun- garua 5, Manukau 24 College Rifes 21. Round two, this Saturday at 2.45pm at Bell Park: Pakuranga v University. Alatini hangs up his boots IN CHARGE: Pita Alatini will be leading Pakuranga United from the sidelines after being named the club's director of coaching. Times photo Wayne Martin Local leads NZV8 utes EAST Aucklanders shared the top two podium spots following the second round of the NZV8 Ute Series at Ruapuna last weekend. Half Moon Bay’s Chris Hanley repeated his results from round one by winning three out of the four races to maintain his grip on the championship. Hanley’s Stoneman Race Tech teammate Mike Lightfoot, of Dannemora, grabbed a second, two thirds and a seventh to claim second overall for the round. “Hammer Time” Hanley led from start to fnish in race one, with “Buzz” Lightfoot holding onto second from P2 on the grid. It was an all-East Auckland podium in race two as Hanley streaked away again, chased by Pakuranga’s Brett Rudd and Lightfoot. Selecting frst gear instead of third on the main straight in race three sent Lightfoot into a spin and from ffth to seventh, with Hanley in second and “The Scud” Rudd in fourth. The action got heated in race four, starting with Rudd running wide on the infeld and dropping to sixth. On the fnal lap, Ron Gibson hit Lightfoot from the side and sent him spinning. “It was an exceptionally dangerous move on his part and showed inexperience at this level,” says Lightfoot. “It could have ended in serious tears. The ute has major damage and I was annoyed.” Hanley leads the series on 268 points, followed by Peter Ward (217) and Lightfoot (195). In his second year of motor sport, Rudd is ffth on 174.
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