From the Stands: Round 1

It’s baaaaaaack! And not a moment too soon!

Sure, the sun’s shining, strangers are acknowledging each other in the street, beer gardens seem inviting, and when restaurants and cafes ask you whether you want to sit inside or outside, you’re still tempted to say outside.

Yuck! I’ve had enough of it too. Round 1 is upon us and I cannot wait to watch the mighty Raiders run around!

The off season wasn’t completely devoid of interest though. 

Who doesn’t like to tune in to the Auckland 9s and watch a mix of old and young heads run wild?

Speaking of which, what an absolute pleasure to watch Ken Nagas pull on a jersey?

As Thirsty Merc would say, “take me back”! Not to the summertime but to the glory of 1994.

A few of the younger readers haven’t had the pleasure but Nagas was as quick as a flash and had a step more famous than Neil Armstrong.

Ken managed to find himself in space and was unlucky not to score. An early tackle off the ball meant he went without.

Should it have been a penalty try? At least for old time’s sake, yes… yes it should.

And of course there was the Indigenous All Stars vs the NRL All Stars.

A special mention to the Indigenous All Stars for a great win up north and congratulations to Jack Wighton and Jarrod Croker for strong games.

It’s an honour to be selected for the All Stars match and both boys did the Raiders proud.

And of course, a wrap up of the off season wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the glorious return to Seiffert Oval for the Raiders v Knights trial.

Unfortunately, yours truly wasn’t able to make the clash but thank goodness for social media.

The ground looked an absolute treat! The result wasn’t there but trials are there to work out the kinks.

Now, as much as I’m enthralled by the competitiveness of cricket’s showpieces Australia vs Afghanistan or Ireland vs South Africa, I’m ready to get down to business and soak up one of the closest competitions in the world – the NRL!

With a new season comes renewed enthusiasm.

The team, with a couple of new faces, is shaping up to be a great line up and I’m looking forward to a big improvement in 2015.

Good luck to the boys and let’s hope for a big win over the Sharks to get the season started!