It's been a change of scene, but the Whanganui Boxon and their young coach are still determined to make every post a winner in the new-look Taranaki Rugby League competition in 2018.

The Boxon played on the big stage for footy in Whanganui when they hammered the Waitara Bears 60-4 at Cooks Gardens on Sunday afternoon.

It moved their 2018 record to 3-1 after joining the TRL Paddock to Plate Butchery Premiership in March.

Manawatu Rugby League, which has had issues putting together a full board since 2016, folded their Premier club competition this year, as teams such as Tainui, Levin, Foxton, Feilding and Dannevirke have disappeared into the ether.


Top Manawatu team the Linton Cobras joined the Boxon, who were the 2016 MRL Premier champions, in transferring over to the Taranaki competition, with Linton also accommodating players from the Kia Ora club and Marton's Rangitīkei Bears.

Later in the year, the best players from the Boxon and the Cobras will combine to form the Manawatu representative team.

The TRL competition was initially planned as an eight team grade, but two squads have pulled out.

Boxon's top playmaker Haze Reweti, a former Mid Central Vipers representative, ruptured his ACL playing in Australia and having to miss the season, he has taken on the head coach role at just 22-years-old.

"A lot of them are my older cousins and there's a brother-in-law in the team," Reweti said.

"At the start of the season it was challenging – to get a bit of respect – but after the success it's easier now."

Boxon opened their account with a good 42-34 win over their old Linton rivals at the army camp, before losing to Hawera Hawks 30-28 when playing under lights at the TSB Hub, with the Hawks scoring their matchwinner off the final play.

Boxon rebounded with a 44-12 win over the Bell Block-Marist Dragons in their first home game on the City College grounds the previous weekend, then pumped the Waitara Bears at Cooks Gardens on Sunday.

"We were confident going into it with the success the week before, but the boys blew me away with how they performed, I did not expect that scoreline," said Reweti.

The home side lead 26-4 at halftime and the coach was most pleased that they did not let their foot off the gas.

"Previous weeks, we weren't playing the full 80 minutes of footy. But the fitness is coming along, starting to finish off pretty good."

Prop Shade Heta scored two tries while the flying Fijian winger Emitai Logadraudrau got a hat trick to move to the top of the Premiership's tryscorer lists.

Now finding his feet in the standoff role is Corey-Lee Robertson, the youngest player in the team who was also involved in the Boxon club's first-ever championship as an Under 15 in 2013, and has more recently played Premier rugby union for Harvey Round Motors Ratana, while making waves locally in kickboxing.

Centre Jordan Davis and prop Gordon Karaitiana have also played NZRL National Premiership level for the Vipers, while second-rower Tautahi Rawiri is a strong presence and a former Steelform Wanganui rugby representative.

Boxon's game this coming weekend is an away game to the Western Suburbs Tigers in New Plymouth.

In the curtain raiser game at Cooks Gardens, the Wellington Orcas Women's team defeated the Taranaki Sharks Women's team 54-8.

Prop Rikki Rawleigh scores for the Wellington Orcas against the Taranaki Sharks in the women's representative match.
Prop Rikki Rawleigh scores for the Wellington Orcas against the Taranaki Sharks in the women's representative match.