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Old foes will test the Giants

Player-coach Corie Karaitiana, right, celebrates have hitting a home run against Johnsonville Billy Goats. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Giants may have made a perfect start to the Intercity premier reserve championship, but the team are keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

Giants have won all their three completed games. Another two games were washed out.

The latest was a 9-2 win over Johnsonville Billy Goats last Saturday.

The intensity will rise to another level today when Giants take on traditional rivals Hutt Valley Dodgers at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt. Player-coach Corie Karaitiana was relishing the challenge.

“This is the litmus test for us. It’s our biggest test to date, and a good indicator of where we’re at physically and mentally. It’s come at the right time.”

Whereas Giants are unbeaten, Dodgers come in with a two-win, one-loss record, but Corie Karaitiana was reading nothing into that.

“It’s a decent rivalry. It’s built up over the years. We get on really well off the field, but once we get across the white line it’s a different story.”

Corie Karaitiana was pleased with the positive start to the season in a grade he rated ‘not far off’ premier level.

“Some of the games have looked easy on the scoreboard but we’ve had to get into an arm wrestle to get on top.”

He put a lot of the success down to having a good mix of young and experienced players.

“We’ve brought up some young players like Kortez Reiri-Paku, our backup pitcher, who also plays in the outfield, Trey Feary at catcher, and Tarquin Karaitiana, who we’ve thrown into the hot spot at short stop.”

Greg Paku has filled a hole at third base, having moved from catcher.

Justin Fricker, Jordan Waitere and pitcher Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana add a wealth of experience for the side, while Corie Karaitiana has taken the vital first base position.

Former Poneke-Kilbirnie player Chris Cox has been invaluable with the bat and in his second base role since joining Giants this season.

Corie Karaitiana was confident of making it four from four against Dodgers today but said they’re not looking too far ahead and are just quietly going about their business.

Meanwhile, back at South Park, the Giants premier three side will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season, giving up three runs in the last inning to lose 7-8 to Tawa.

The third-placed Giants are favoured to beat Hutt City United, who have yet to register a win.

The women will be looking to break their duck when they meet the Wellington Area Sports Club at South Park.

The Under-15s will play Dodgers Slammers at Fraser Park, while the Under-13s are at home to Stokes Valley Red.

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