Around the Grounds - 22 April

CMRFU to create Old Boys club
We hear plans are afoot at the Union to establish greater links with the Steelers’ old boys. Over 700 men have played for the Steelers since the Union was formed in 1955 and stronger ties with former players is one of the organisation’s key priorities this year.
Former Steelers halfback and well-known local businessman Michael Scott is helping drive the initiative and has been tasked with building the old boys’ database from the humble position it’s currently in.
Stay tuned for more news in this space.

Eye to the future
And speaking of former Steelers, who are the old boys who have come on board to support the Union’s academy under the impressive work of Head of High Performance, Chad Shepherd?
Good things are happening in this space and some former Steelers have decided they want to do their bit to ensure the best local talent is coming through the system.
It is a long-term play that they are hoping will ultimately lead to stronger on-field results.

Representative prop returns home
Sila Puafisi played his first game for Karaka in eight years when he came off the bench against Pukekohe last weekend.

The Counties Manukau junior left to play for Tasman for a period before heading overseas to play professionally in England, Scotland and France.
He has returned home to play this season and will be a key player for the PIC Steelers later in the year.

Big day at Mountfort Park
The Manurewa Rugby Club will celebrate their centenary this weekend when their premier side faces Papakura.
The most successful club in the history of the Union is the second club in the past month to reach the milestone and big day is planned.

Steelers add more pieces of the puzzle
As plans ramp up for this year’s NPC competition, Steelers coach Tai Lavea is calling on some big guns (excuse the pun) to help get his squad firing.
It’s understood the Union has agreed to terms with renowned mental skills specialist and Counties Manukau resident Jamie Pennell.
The former SAS serviceman has worked with the likes of the Warriors and Tasman and has been signed up to help drive leadership training for the Steelers and men’s and women’s academy players.

Karaka skipper back from injury?
Inspirational skipper Jamie Gilbert-Clark is eyeing up a return from a knee injury having missed the past two matches for Karaka.
He is likely to play his 148th match for the club if he is cleared to go against Ardmore Marist in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

Refs badly needed
Counties Manukau has just 37 active referees that need to service 50+ games on any given weekend. Without referees there is no game. We need our community to assist with referee duties, at all grades.

An Associate Refs course is happening on the 21st April, 29th April, 4th May at the Stadium 6pm start. Basics on law, tips on positioning, communication & signals, and safety will be covered.

90s reunion for TK?
Te Kauwhata Rugby Club are in the process of organising a 90s Reunion. A recent post on their Facebook page said – “Save the date - A TK rugby 90s reunion is planned for the 29th May.

A great opportunity for Te Kauwhata Stalwarts to get together and reconnect over the good old days.

Counties Manukau women making noise in Auckland
Counties Manukau players are storming the Auckland scene – we have a few Counties Manukau women’s players creeping up the Auckland top points scorers list.

Ardmore Marist’s Shonte To’a is currently third on that list while there are number of local players among the league leaders.

Meanwhile the Patumahoe Searle Group women’s side beat Waiheke, 24-17 last weekend.