President's Monday Musings

From the pen of Club President, John Spillane...

WWW.MSP is not just the beginning of our web address it is also the beginning of the Premier team's 2024 season - with another win recorded at Evans Bay on Saturday – making it 3 from 3 in 2024.

Running out through a guard of honour made up of our Premier 2 and Colts sides who had played earlier - the Colts losing by a single point in an entertaining, high scoring game and the Premier 2 team also going down in a gutsy performance - the Premier team really fronted against a very capable Tawa side.

The final result was a solid 57-41 victory to Marist St Pats – so with 98 points scored in the match, as you can imagine, it was an entertaining game for the big crowd of MSP supporters, relishing a home game and a dry track.

Credit must go to the Tawa side who just would not go away and who contributed to what was a very good game, played in great spirit. It was a case of tough and uncompromising rugby from both sides with no sign of the niggle or ill-discipline that unfortunately plagues the game from time to time.

There really was a lot to like down at Evans Bay Park on Saturday:

  • An increasingly polished Premier team playing with discipline, structure, and purpose.
  • The big, happy, and positive crowd in attendance.
  • The many players from the Marist St Pats Premier 2 and Colts sides, all dressed in their number ones, passionately supporting their Premier brothers, and
  • A professional refereeing performance which drew positive comments from both groups of supporters.

Afterwards, it was great to see another good crowd in the Clubrooms – and we must thank the Tawa team, their management, and supporters for accepting our invitation and coming up in good numbers to enjoy our hospitality.

I had a good look around the Clubrooms on Saturday night and it dawned on me that we have more work to do to get our supporters back to enjoy all that the Red Machine has to offer.

On the subject of clubrooms attendance:

I appreciate that there have been times over the last few years, when the attendance at the Clubrooms was very disappointing – and some of our supporters may have had a bad experience in walking into an almost empty clubrooms after a match - but I can assure everyone that in 2024 things are different. In the new Horan era, the players have rediscovered the enjoyment of the Clubrooms experience and have committed to getting up there in good numbers when we are playing home games.

But the away games are a whole different story. Given we now only have six teams in the Club and with the top 3 teams playing together (which is a wonderful initiative by the Union), the away games mean that 50% of our Club players are obliged to attend the hosts clubrooms after the games to enjoy their hospitality.

As such it is not practical for these players, their coaches, managers, and supporters to travel back through town and up to the Hataitai Park Clubrooms. Therefore, we do not expect big numbers in the clubrooms when half the Club are playing away, and we encourage everyone to make a big effort around the home games and spend an hour or two up at the Clubrooms afterwards.

The Clubrooms Programme for the away games will be announced on social media and in the Clubrooms a week ahead of time.

Thankfully, it is a home game next weekend so it will be a full-on night up at the Clubrooms on Saturday 27th April and I hope to see you ALL there. It really is starting to feel like “the good old days” and I would love you all to enjoy it with me.

Anyway – back to Saturdays after-match.

Tony Duffin ran proceedings with his usual professionalism.

  • We celebrated the players of the day and farewelled Eamon Carr – the big Premier lock who has made a significant impact this year since transferring from Tawa (returning to his junior club) – he is off to Australia with his partner, and we presented him with some Club cufflinks and wished them all the best with this next adventure.
  • It was wonderful to see Naitoa Ah Kuoi - both at the game and reconnecting with former clubmates in the Clubrooms afterwards. He really is a product of our Club environment, a true professional and someone we can all be immensely proud of as his career continues to progress.
  • An unexpected highlight of the night was a visit from John McBeth – a player from the 90’s who was visiting from Australia. He was invited to say a few words after Tony presented him with a copy of “Come On Red” – (Tim Donoghue's book of the clubs history) and his words, expressing his love for the Club and thanking MSP legends like Pat Dunn, Tony Meachen and Ruffy Mollo for their support and mentorship when he was a young man, really hit home how Marist St Pats is more than just “rugby”.

So, week three is now in the history books and the Red Machine is gearing up for a big week ahead – hosting Wainuiomata at Evan Bay at 2.45 this Saturday.

I hope to see you all at the game AND up at the Clubrooms afterwards.

This weekend's action - 27 April 2024

Grade Opposition Location
Premier Men
Evans Bay Park at 2.45pm
Premier 2 Men
Kilbirnie Park 3 at 1pm
Evans Bay Park at 1pm
Reserve 'Internationals'
Kilbirnie Park 2 at 2.45pm
Under 85kg Red
No game

Presidents 'MH Law Classics'
No game

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