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New coach spurs renewed interest in Johnsonville club rugby

May 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Sport

THE Johnsonville Rugby Club has had a change in fortunes following the arrival of a new coach.

In 2013 when new coach  Mason Lawrence arrived,  the club had failed to make the semi-finals of the Hardham Cup, Wellington’s annual club rugby competition.

But in just 12 months he has guided them into the semi-finals.

Johnsonville has gone from mid table in the division below, to a premier side.

2014-04-11_12-42-13_473 - CopyLawrence [LEFT] says it’s impressive for Johnsonville considering that only about 8 players returned from the 2012 squad.

The coach says defence has been the biggest improvement in the Johnsonville side.

“Basically defence is a key for any team. I think our defensive system has proven to be effective,” he says.

Lawrence’s coaching career began with the Johnsonville under 8s, before moving on to coach a Marist St Pats senior team in 2012.

He says since he began coaching the  premiers he’s noticed a lot more recruiting of players from established clubs due to better management and systems at the Johnsonville club.

“We’re getting there with good managers and people at the club now,” he says.

His son, Corey Lawrence is the captain of the Johnsonville side.

Looking ahead, the coach says the goal this season  is to win games and improve the team dynamics.

He says success should be measured not only on the growing of individual players but on developing a competitive team culture as well.

And according to the coach, Johnsonville’s return to premier rugby has led to a resurgence in community support.

“The community is behind us 100%”, he says.

And looking to the future, the coach says he isn’t looking to move a higher league anytime soon.

“I’m quite happy coaching at Swindale Shield level,” he says.

Johnsonville Rugby Club

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