Zingari-Richmond flying high

Zingari-Richmond are flying after three consecutive wins. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Zingari-Richmond are flying after three consecutive wins. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
There is something in the air up at Montecillo.

Zingari-Richmond are having some sort of start to the season to lay their stake in the ground as the ones to watch this year.

The Colours have reversed their fortunes from previous seasons, where they nestled at the bottom of the table, to win their opening three games of the club season.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for the club, and there is a real buzz among its loyal support base.

Coach William Hola has blended his troops, who finished eighth last year, together nicely in his first year at the helm.

But it came down to the values, vision and culture the club wanted to create going forward.

"We put in a lot of hard work in the last couple of months as a club, and as a team, so I think our environment has been conducive and that’s just transferred over to the field," Hola said.

"It’s been challenging, but one of the things we talk about as a team is trying to learn how to win again."

They sit second on the table, only just under Southern on points differential.

They have proven to come home with a wet sail, dominating the final quarter of games to sneak through.

That showed Zingari’s character and resilience — even if it had given Hola a couple of ‘‘heart attack" moments, he said.

Front-rower Hame Lauaki, who was lured south from Hawke’s Bay, has added great stability up front and already has two tries to his name.

Hooker A-One Lolofie has also been big for Zingari and has been rewarded with selection in the New Zealand squad for the inaugural Rugby Championship U20 tournament next month.

Back Shaun Driver has been reliable and has already banged over 30 points with the boot.

Winger Josiah Sakaria has speed to burn and former Waitaki Boys’ captain Tyree Manaia has run things nicely at first five.

But they get a chance to catch their breath after their blistering start with the bye this week.

Unbeaten Southern make the trip to Kettle Park to play Dunedin in the likely game of the round. The Magpies flew home in the second half against Taieri last week, while the Sharks let the game against Zingari slip.

Kaikorai, who were brutal against Harbour last week, are at home against the Eels, and Green Island hosts Harbour.

Alhambra-Union host University as both teams search for their first win of the season.