Rugby league in Whanganui is enjoying a resurgence.
The Whanganui Maori under-19 team produced an outstanding result at the New Zealand Maori Rugby League National Rangatahi tournament in Rotorua, proving very competitive and drawing with eventual tournament winners, Auckland.
This was followed by an Under-18 team performing at the Inaugural Whakatipu Youth Tournament in Palmerston North last weekend.
Founding Boxon member Lisa Reweti, who is now general manager of Mid Central Rugby League, said the boys were gutsy with a never give up attitude, resulting in some being named to attend the Mid Central Zone Vipers Trial and NRL Warriors camp next month.
The Whanganui Boxon men's team is also in a very exciting space with its return to the Manawatū Rugby League Premier Men's competition. The competition took a break in 2019 and 2020 and returned this season.
Round one saw Boxon playing Linton Army at Coronation Park in Palmerston North. The fitter Linton side won 36-10. Both tries for Whanganui came down the right-hand side of the field and were scored by Tautahi Rawiri and Leonard Matapuka, then successfully converted by Rawiri.
Game two was played last weekend against Levin Wanderers with a win for Whanganui Boxon 24-20.
Reweti said it was definitely a game of two halves that had the home team Levin playing catch up, however, they missed two conversions giving the proud Whanganui team the win.
Boxon are stoked to have Cooks Gardens as their home ground for their four home games. These will begin tomorrow against Feilding Stags, then on July 31 against Takaro Taniwha, August 14 against Linton Cobras and August 28 against Levin Wanderers.
"It is a fantastic atmosphere for the Whanganui Boxon Rugby League Club at the moment with the return of some of our players," Reweti said.
"Historically it's a strong club, especially with a mix of young blood coming through from the U20 National comp, the U18 and U19 teams also. The future is bright for 2021 and beyond."
Coaching staff include head coach Haki Herewini and assistant coach Cornel Mason.
"We encourage all of Whanganui to come to Cooks Gardens and support our local league side when they have home games – all games kick off at 2pm."