Halswell Hornets 2017 Preview
After dominating the CRL premiership at the start of the decade, it’s been a lean trot for Halswell Hornets in the past two seasons.
The Hornets topped the table in four straight seasons from 2011-14, reaching the grand final in all four years and taking out titles in 2011 and ’14.
But the two subsequent campaigns have seen Halswell win just three games each year, while they finished with the dreaded wooden spoon in 2016.
It’s a standing that doesn’t sit well with the Hornets – who have won 10 premierships in their 38-year existence – and they’re determined to redress the balance in 2017.
“I would be – and I’m sure the same can be said for boys – we’d be pretty disappointed if we didn’t (get a few more wins than last season),” coach Rob Faalilo said.
Working in the side’s favour is the fact they haven’t suffered any significant departures from last season’s squad, while they’ve added quality in the form of the returning Sean Scott, along with Jason Galland and Jaye Pukepuke arriving from rival clubs.
Halswell line up against Northern Bulldogs at home on Saturday in their Round 1 assignment.
Years active (premiers division): 1979-present
Titles: 10 – 1985, 1987-88, 1993, 1995, 1999-2000, 2003, 2011, 2014
2017 Coach: Rob Faalilo
Last season: 8th (won 3, lost 11)
Pre-season: “The pre-season’s been pretty good for us, one of the best we’ve had for a wee while,” Faalilo said. “It’s about putting that together throughout the year.”
Key gains: Sean Scott, Jason Galland (Riccarton), Jaye Pukepuke (Papanui)
Key losses: None
2017 Squad: “We’ve got a leadership group there, and I’m sure they’ll be instrumental in directing us. But I suspect our young halves will play a key role in ensuring we keep to our structures.”
2017 Goals: “We’ve got a few players who have come in, and the stuff we’ve been working on is all performance-based. If we hit our targets in relation to performance, the results will speak for themselves.”
Round 1: v Northern Bulldogs – 2.45pm @ Halswell Domain 2: “The Doggies have been quiet in their build-up to the 2017 season, but they’ve got a very strong side so I’m expecting it to be a very tough encounter.”