Rotorua Daily Post

sports reporter

David Beck

takes a look at the last week of sport.

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Desire the key to Marist's Magic

Marist Magic are stringing together some impressive victories in the Rotorua Netball Premier 1 division.

They beat Waikite Panthers 51-25 on Saturday and won their four games leading up to that 44-32, 42-28, 49-44 and 46-27.

While they have all the skills and fantastic fitness levels, I believe the key to their success is the desire they play with.

It is something that all the best sports teams have and every coach strives for.

You can have all the plans and structures in the world but unless you can motivate the players you're fighting an uphill battle. The Marist coach appears to have that part of the job nailed.

Desire often has to come from within each individual player and the team culture surrounding them.

I was at the game on Saturday and what stood out was how the Marist players treated every opposition pass as an opportunity to intercept and fought for every rebound as if their lives depended on it.

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What makes it more impressive is that they continued to play with that same level of enthusiasm, even when winning by about 20 points.

Another team showing a similar level of desire is the Whakarewarewa women's rugby team. While the results are not quite going their way just yet, coach Ron James told me he is confident they will because he can see the heart and passion his players bring to each game.

Ngongotahā rugby club shows us how to treasure our volunteers

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing and writing about Owen Sircombe.

If you've been to a Ngongotahā rugby match in the past 40 years there is a good chance you know of him. He is the team's biggest fan and is at every practice and game, carrying the bottles and helping out in any way he can.

He celebrated his 60th birthday a fortnight ago and was rightfully made a fuss of by the club. He ran the ball on to the field at the start of the match against Whakatane Marist and was given a cake and his own Ngongotahā rugby jersey, which he was delighted with.

While he is a particularly dedicated volunteer, Owen is not the only one working behind the scenes to make local sport what it is.

Next time you're on a sideline, whether it be rugby, netball, football, basketball, or any other sport, I encourage you to think about all the people making that sport happen. If you know who they are thank them, because week-in, week-out they are giving up their own time for others and they should be celebrated.

Whakarewarewa demonstrate the gap between Premier 1 and Premier 2 rugby

Ngongotahā made their long awaited return to Baywide Premier rugby this year. They had some impressive performances, but will head back to Premier 2 for the second phase of the competition.

On Saturday they travelled to Puarenga Park to play Whakarewarewa - a local derby to make the mouth water.

Unfortunately for Ngongotahā, Whakarewarewa took their game to a whole new level, blowing their opposition off the park in a 69-0 win. It was one of those games where you felt every time they touched the ball they would score again.

I started this job in June last year, almost exactly a year ago, so on top of learning who was who and how everything worked, I had to try to get my head around how the local rugby competition worked. I struggled a little.

This year, having been here from the start of the season, I can see the merits in what the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union is doing.

In the first round the top 12 teams play in the Premier grade while the bottom 12 play in Division 1.

After that round the top eight teams form Premier 1, the bottom four Premier teams from round 1 join the top four in Division 1 to make Premier 2. The remaining eight stay in Division 1.

Saturday's game was a case of eighth v ninth. Whakarewarewa had secured their Premier 1 spot while Ngongotahā were destined for Premier 2. I think the result shows how big the gap is and I'm looking forward to seeing how Ngongotahā go in a very competitive looking Premier 2 competition.