Booth makes welcome return
It was heart-warming for Manawatu and for himself that halfback Jamie Booth re-entered senior club rugby for Varsity at Massey University on Saturday.
Ironically, it was on the same field one year and one month ago where the Manawatu-contracted halfback almost wrecked his left leg in a freak accident while playing Old Boys-Marist.
On Saturday Booth played the final 27 minutes in the 33-20 win over Linton Army.
Booth, who is in the second year of his Turbos contract, mixed it and did everything right, showing good agility despite the leg being well-bandaged.
He said he felt no ill effects and at one stage there was a roar when he looked as if he might score a try.
He caught Manawatu halfback Papa Wharewera at one scrum and Wharewera got his own back at the next.
"It was good to finally get back on the field and be involved," he said. "It will all come; it's just time."
It was his third outing after 25 minutes for a Varsity Colts side and 80 minutes at fullback for Massey Rams last week.
Booth will train fulltime with the Turbos when they assemble and it would be a remarkable recovery if he was to get back to that level of rugby so soon.
Meanwhile, Freyberg's Potene Paewai was the first club coach in Manawatu to call time on his tenure.
He told his team on Saturday after they lost to Feilding at Colquhoun Park that he has retired after two years at the club.
All up he has had 15 years of coaching since starting with the Feilding Old Boys under-21s in 2000 when he was 25.
"I announced my retirement from all levels for the next year, maybe five years," he said.
"I want a hiatus to spend more time with my family."
When he wasn't wanted at Feilding Old Boys-Oroua two years ago, many of their players followed him to Freyberg last season. Many of them have now moved on and Freyberg finished last this year.
Despite that he feels there is enough depth within the club for the future.