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Issue 45 – August 2017


Kia Ora Whanau,


The Club and Representative rugby league seasons have overlapped as the Northern Swords Premier team played their first competitive match at the same time the 15 year old grade competed for Grand Final honours last Sunday. The top two 17 year old teams will do the same at Trigg Arena this weekend.


A later finish to the 15 and 17 year old grade competitions allows a closer alignment to the National Youth tournaments that kicks off in the first week of October this year. The 17 year old grade increased to seven teams this year (four in 2016) and Friday nights at Pohe Island and Lindvart Park Kaikohe saw some fast paced games and entertaining football. As one spectator said to me last Friday night ‘the playmakers aren’t having to look for runners, they turn to pass and there is someone there, hungry to run, exciting to watch.’ This Sunday the Hikurangi Stags and Portland Panthers 17 year olds will stake their claim for Championship status as curtain-raiser to the Northern Swords Pool match against a Waikato representative side.


The Premiership competition playoff series at Toll Stadium culminated in a fairytale finish for the Moerewa Tigers celebrating their Club 50th year Jubilee and it had been 10 years since they lifted Premiership Trophy at Grand Final.  At match conclusion an unstoppable and understandable pitch invasion as the Moerewa fans who supported their team proudly decked out in Club colours were compelled to celebrate with their heroes then and there on the field. Amongst the Trophy and Medal presentations, haka and waiata the Takahiwai team, naturally disappointed with the loss but gracious in defeat, stood united and supported the opposition like champions and to quote an old cliché, rugby league was the winner on the day.


As well as assisting in the youth representative programmes our development staff are presently delivering Leadership through League programmes in Okaihau and Bream Bay Colleges. They are doing a great job in introducing new players to our sport and helping our communities develop young leaders.


Zone General Managers from around the seven Zones of NZRL have been meeting to finalise the National Football Calendar for 2018 at the same time as many Clubs are holding their prizegivings and wrapping up season 2017. We ask that in your season evaluations you consider the recruitment and upskilling of volunteers to keep your club strong and growing for next season. RLN are planning more Coaching, Managing and Referee courses as well as the addition of an Administrators seminar for all Clubs and team staff. Keep an eye out for these dates as RLN qualified many Coaches at varying levels this year and would like to continue to assist with their development.


Nga Mihi


Duane Fyfe



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