Perenara plays rough in the diamond

LINDA WOOD
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012
TJ Perenara
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
NEW BALL GAME: Hurricane TJ Perenara has a go at pitching in the celebrity softball game.

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Hurricanes fitness training today could have an extra edge to it for T J Perenara after his exploits on the softball diamond on Saturday.

Playing in a celebrity game as part of the Wellington Softball Association's 75th jubilee celebrations, Perenara found himself opposing Richard Watt, a member of the Hurricanes coaching staff, and there was no favouritism given when the two opposed each other.

It was a "deliberate" hit pitch from Perenara on Watt that resulted in a few oohs and ahhs from the spectators at Hataitai Park on Saturday.

"He [Watt] loves that banter and it was all part of it," Perenara said.

"I might be doing fitness by myself on Monday though."

For Perenara, the game was a welcome workout as he continues his comeback after a broken ankle ended his rugby season during the Super Rugby campaign and he only returned to training recently.

However, his injury-forced layoff has not dampened the halfback's desire.

"I can't wait to get back out there," he said. "I am really excited especially with the team been named and just getting back."

Unlike several of his softball team members and opposition, Perenara has a background in the sport. His father, Thomas, was a member of the world champion winning 1996 Black Sox team, and his mother, Fiona, also played for the White Sox side.

Perenara was a Wellington age-grade representative. "It was awesome being back out there, to be honest. It was my first sport for while and I do love it."

Also on Perenara's side was Silver Fern Katrina Grant, who also enjoyed the different experience.

For Grant, it was also some lighthearted fun after what has been a hectic netball season and although she is taking a well-earned break, it is only temporary as she looks forward to next year's campaign with the Pulse. Perenara and Grant's team won 17-16.

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- The Dominion Post

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