Month: July 2014

FINALS FEVER! Minor Semi’s – Sunday 27th July – Toll StadiumFINALS FEVER! Minor Semi’s – Sunday 27th July – Toll Stadium



This week will see the Minor Semi-Finals of the RLN MultiKai Cooker Premiership.  Round 16 completed over the weekend played out to script with no surprises.

The Hikurangi Stags secured 2nd place and the week off, as they defeated the Moerewa Tigers 36 – 6 in a match that didn’t reflect the scoreline.  It was the Tigers who got out to the early lead looking to play the spoilers.  However, the Stags showed that they were able to play a controlled, structured game of footy, even without inspirational Player/Coach Joe Rau. Te Tuhi Tipene and Moses Cooper stuck to the game plan and lead the team with control, feeding the Edmonds brothers, Joachim and Zab on the left flank.  The Tigers played till the 80th minute, demonstrating the potential they showed in the last half of the season.

Portland won back the Ville Salase Memorial Trophy in a 17 – 16 thriller in Dargaville, against the Northern Wairoa Bulls.  The Ville Salase Memorial – always played during the last round between the Panthers and the Bulls – is played to commemorate Ville, a Portland legend who at the age of 49 collapsed and died on the paddock in 2006.  The Bulls were the current holders of the trophy, after the Panthers held it for the first 7 years.  The 17 – 16 scoreline will give both teams confidence going into Semi’s.

The Panthers’ opponents this week are the Otangarei Knights, who ended a spirited Muriwhenua Kuaka’s season 52 – 20.  While the Bulls opponents, will be the Hokianga Pioneers, after they ended the Kerikeri Makos season 40 – 10.  Both the Kuaka and the Makos have had tough seasons – but they never capitulated.  If both teams have good off-seasons they can come back competitive in 2015.

Takahiwai round out the top six as they secured the Minor Premiership with a dominant display to round out Horahora’s season 54 – 4.  The Top 6 being confirmed as:

  1. Takahiwai Warriors
  2. Hikurangi Stags
  3. Hokianga Pioneers
  4. Otangarei Knights
  5. Portland Panthers
  6. Northern Wairoa Bulls

Takahiwai and Hikurangi have the first week off.  This week’s games are Sunday July 27th at Toll Stadium:

1pm:  Hokianga Pioneers v Northern Wairoa Bulls

This will be an action packed match.  Their previous match was abandoned with the scores at 22 – 16 to the Pioneers while their Round 1 match was a closed fought affair with the Pioneers winning 24 – 22.  Both teams play a similar style of football which would best be described as Power football.  With big teams across the paddock they play on the back of power running and support.

The Pioneers should go into this match as favourites.  They have had a strong finish to the season and been consistently in the Top 4, while the Bulls have never really reached their potential in 2014.  They have shown glimpses of form but have been inconsistent.  However, finals football is a different scenario and the Bulls will test the Pioneers for 80 minutes and if things click on the day can provide a major upset!

3.00pm:  Otangarei Knights v Portland Panthers

This match should be epic.  Both the Panthers and the Knights have consistently been in the Top 6 this year.  The Knights have shown in 2014 that they are true Premiership contenders.  When they focus they can click and when they do, they are unstoppable, playing an expansive wide game of footy on the back of passionate running, combined with Herewini Edmonds’ and Linn Hunapo’s, slick passing game.

The Panthers play a very structured and controlled game.  They have a big mobile pack, led by the friendly giant Michael Gawn.  They have speed and power out wide in the form of Levi McQueen and Kelsin Harding which is fed by a devious Fats (Madisyn) Kaka at Dummy Half.  Portland have struggled throughout the year to lock out tight matches, however they would have gained confidence from their 17 – 16 win over the Bulls.

In their previous meeting in 2014 the Knights were too dominant winning 50 – 22.  They were scheduled to have met in the Rd 15 cancelled round.

Major Finals – August 2nd Toll Stadium

Hikurangi Stags v (winner Hokianga v Northern Wairoa) at 1:00pm Takahiwai Warriors v (winner Otangarei v Portland) at 3:00pm

Lightning League – Developing the female game.August 13th – Lindvart ParkLightning League – Developing the female game.August 13th – Lindvart Park

Lightning League 2014 – information pack.

A key focus is to develop a programme specific to the female game. Targeting participation at Secondary school ages. Looking to create a pathway for female participants of Rugby League – there is no current provision for Rugby League in the North for females over the age of 12. The Kiwi Ferns have been one of Sports most dominant teams, winning three consecutive World Cups.



Hokianga Not To Be UnderestimatedHokianga Not To Be Underestimated

The Hokianga Pioneers showed that they will be a force in the RLN Premiership come semi-finals in three weeks, as they defeated Premiership front runners, the Hikurangi Stags by 28 – 22.  Despite the loss, Hikurangi remain in second place, ahead of Otangarei, who defeated Horahora 48 – 24 and Portland who defeated Kerikeri 50 – 34.  All three teams are locked in on 18 points, however Hikurangi have points for and against.  Hokianga sit in fifth place.

The Northern Wairoa Bulls have taken the lead in the run for sixth place with their 52 – 6 demolition of the Moerewa Tigers.  Before the match, the Bulls were one point clear of the Tigers on 11 points, and the Tigers had won four in a row, however the Tigers were never in the game as the Bulls played a well structured and powerful 80 minutes of football, which never even gave the Tigers a sniff.  On the back on a strong forward pack, led by Jake Mau and Patrick Tane, the Bulls were ruthless in their execution.  The win puts the Bulls onto 13 points and 6th place, they move 3 points ahead of the Tigers, who are their nearest rivals.  Both teams will have a tight run to the playoffs, with the Bulls facing Horahora, Hikurangi and Portland, while the Tigers have Takahiwai, Horahora and then Hikurangi.

Takahiwai look to have the Minor Premiership in the bag after their demolition of Muriwhenua 82 – 6.  With their last three games being Moerewa, Kerikeri and Horahora the biggest concern for Takahiwai will be complacency leading into the playoffs.

The RLN Multikai Cooker Playoffs start on July 27th at Toll Stadium with:

  •  3rd playing 6th and 4th v 5th, while the 1st and 2nd get the week off.
  • August 2nd – Major Semis – Toll Stadium
  • August 9th RLN Multikai Cooker Premiers Finals Day – Toll Stadium

RLN Finals series coming quickly – Corporate Hospitality AvailableRLN Finals series coming quickly – Corporate Hospitality Available

The RLN Multikai Cooker Premiership finals is a celebration of all things Northland and Rugby League with our 15s and 18s club finals as well as the Main event the Premiership Final.  Come along with a group of mates and celebrate in style at Toll Stadium.  We have corporate hospitality boxes available (limited supply)- packages start at $600 for 12 people in your own box.  If you are interested please contact Alex at

Takahiwai Secure the RLN Multikai Cooker Minor PremiershipTakahiwai Secure the RLN Multikai Cooker Minor Premiership

Takahiwai have secured the Minor Premiership with their 34 – 6 defeat of the Moerewa Tigers and there is still two weeks of the Premiership to play.  The Tigers at home, who were at full strength with Moerewa Rugby on a BYE, did test the Warriors, but Takahiwai showed their class to run away with the win.  Complacency will be the biggest hurdle standing in the way of Takahiwai in their lead into the finals series, as they face lowly rated Kerikeri then Horahora, finishing in first place means that they will also have the BYE in week one.

While Hikurangi Stags secured second place with a hard fought 8 – 6 win over the Otangarei Knights.  Defence was the order of the day in heavy conditions.  For the Stags, the win may have come at a heavy cost, as they lost inspirational Player/Coach Joe Rau, with a dislocated shoulder in the first 5 minutes.

The Hokianga Pioneers leap-frogged both Portland and Otangarei with their 26  – 20 defeat of Portland at Portland.  Portland were left ruing their chances, as they bombed three clear cut tries, in a match that could have gone either way.  Hokianga will have gained a lot of confidence with the win, while Portland will be questioning their ability to win the tight games as they have let a number of close ones slip away this year.

Hokianga sit one point behind Hikurangi, in what will be a close run for second place and the BYE in week one of the playoffs.  Hokianga have the easier of the two run-ins with Muriwhenua and Kerikeri, while the Stags, without Joe Rau, will be tested by the Northern Wairoa Bulls and the Moerewa Tigers.

The Bulls and the Tigers are fighting it out for 6th place, on their day they can both defeat top of the table teams.  The Bulls put their 6th place in jeopardy with their 26 – 24 loss to the Horahora Broncos.  However, the Bulls only need one more win to secure their place, but they have a tough run-in, but will also benefit with two home games, firstly with Hikurangi, then Portland in the last week.  The Tigers are also blessed with two consecutive home games, they should comfortably deal with Horahora and then it will all come down to the last match against Hikurangi.

So with two weeks to go in the RLN MultiKai Cooker Premiership placings 2 – 6 are all up for grabs.  Hikurangi, Hokianga, Otangarei and Portland are all competing for 2 – 5th place, while Moerewa still have an outside chance of finishing in 6th place.

Don’t Be An EggDon’t Be An Egg

Rugby League Northland is proud to be leading a campaign to combat sideline abuse.  RLN in no way confesses that the campaign will provide a magical touch, the week the campaign was launched we had one match called off due to a spectator getting involved in an on field incident and another match where a player was sent off for match official abuse.

“We can’t expect that as result of one video that things will change overnight, but what we have done is we have made it a subject of conversation.  People are light hearted commenting to people, Bro you’re an egg.  Even though in most cases its done in jest, but deep down people are thinking about and talking about it.”

Since its launch the video has over 6800 views and thanks to RLN’s partnership with Speedy Signs in Whangarei, every club has received a sideline A-Frame sign –  “Don’t be an Egg.”.  The video is also being used in RLN’s Leadership through League program with secondary school students showing the video in Primary Schools and facilitating a discussion group with Primary School students.

We encourage everyone to watch the video and forward it on to as many contacts – this is an issue in all sports – not just League.  Its OK to be a passionate supporter, its ok to yell from the sideline – but it’s not ok to yell abuse and lose control!

Working in Partnership to Reduce HarmWorking in Partnership to Reduce Harm

Left to Right - Allan Kerrisk, Area Commander, New Zealand Fire Service, Alex Smits, General Manager Rugby League Northland and June Ross, Chief Fire Officer, Omapere

Left to Right – Allan Kerrisk, Area Commander, New Zealand Fire Service, Alex Smits, General Manager Rugby League Northland and June Ross, Chief Fire Officer, Omapere


Positively influencing the health choices individuals make on a daily basis has traditionally been the domain of the district health board.

Now, thanks to the New Zealand Fire Service, health promotion billboards are being trialed at Fire Station sites throughout Te Tai Tokerau in an effort to increase the exposure of positive health related messaging.

“As an emergency services partner we have taken the opportunity to partner the DHB to see if we can help make a difference”, offered Allan Kerrisk, New Zealand Fire Service Area Commander.  “New Zealand Police led the way with their support of the anti-violence billboard they placed on the Kaeo Police Station and that encouraged us to also get involved”.

‘Water is the best drink’ is the chosen message supported by New Zealand national rugby league representative and professional rugby league footballer Elijah Taylor who currently plays for the Penrith Panthers.

As the ambassador of the ‘Leadership through League’ programme that is run in partnership between the Northland DHB and Rugby League Northland Elijah supports the key health message ‘Water is the best drink’.

“The natural choice for hydration is water. It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during exercise”, Elijah explains.  “Water is much less expensive and more available than any other drink. Water is the best, but it only helps you if you drink it”.

“Clearly there was a synergy between ‘Water is the best drink’ and the New Zealand Fire Service”, offered Allan.  “The harm drink driving does on our roads is completely avoidable if drivers chose water instead of alcohol if they intend on driving their vehicle”.

“We are extremely grateful to Allan and his team for supporting our work”, said Kath Bowmar, the DHB’s Well Child Youth and Clinical Services manager. “Being supported by our partners strengthens our mahi and means we can reach many more people than we could if we had to work alone”.

Liz Inch, Communications Manager
Northland District Health Board



Tumoana Halkyard

Tumoana Halkyard

Piri Croft

Piri Croft

Daniel Fulop

Daniel Fulop

Caleb Aekins

Caleb Aekins

Steele Kake

Steele Kake

Haimona Tierney

Haimona Tierney

Steel Kake (Marist) 16s, Daniel Fulop, Haimona Tierney(Northern Wairoa), Piri Croft (Otaua), Tumoana Halkyard (Muriwhenua), Caleb Aekins (Otaika) have all been selected to attend the NZRL Performance Camp, which acts as trials for the Kiwi 16s and 18s test matches.  The performance camp takes place 13th July – 16th in July in Rotorua and consists of Fitness Assessments, Skill Development, Career pathway workshops and is topped off by a trial.  40 of NZ’s best players will be competing for a coveted Kiwi Jersey.

Steel Kake – physically, Steel is a Man Mountain – weighing it at 120kgs and 1.97cm he was the 15s Northern Swords Player of the Year in 2013.

Daniel Fulop, Haimona Tierney, Piri Croft, Tumoana Halkyard and Caleb Aekins were all star performers in the Swords 17s team that finished 3rd in the NZRL National Provincial Competition.  Daniel was named the Back of the Year, while Piri was the Swords Player of the Year for the 17s.  For Tumoana, 2014 will be his second year attending the camp.  Daniel and Piri now play their footy in Auckland for the Pt Chev Pirates U20’s, while Tumoana is playing for the Northcote U20s. Haimona has been playing Premiers for the Northern Wairoa Bulls in the RLN MultiKai Cooker Premiership.

James Fisher Harris and Hamish Pomare were not considered for the trials as they are in Australia playing in the Penrith Panthers system.

“It’s great to see that our players are being recognised for national trials, RLN’s mission is to provide people pathway through league and when you consider that we have five boys trialling, plus two in Australia from last year’s campaign, it goes to show that there is definitely a pathway via Rugby League in Northland,” said Alex Smits RLN General Manager.

Meanwhile the The Northern Swords 2014 Campaign kicked off on June 22nd when they held their annual RLN – NZRL Performance Camp at Kensington Park.  80 (40 at each age) of Northland’s best 15s and 17s will trialed for
a place in the 15s and 17s Northern Swords squads.

Northern Swords Season – 2014Northern Swords Season – 2014

The Northern Swords 2014 – 15s and 17s campaign – kicked off on June 22nd when they held their annual RLN – NZRL Performance Camp at Kensington Park.  80 (40 at each age) of Northland’s best 15s and 17s trialed for a place in the 15s and 17s Northern Swords squads.

Click on the links below to see the selected Train On Squads:

15s Train On Squad

17s Train On Squad

Seniors Train On Squad – also view article from the Northern Advocate

Building craft benches for kids – Jennian Homes (Northland)Building craft benches for kids – Jennian Homes (Northland)

Jennian Homes - Playcentre

Jennian Homes (Northland) managing director Brett Yakas loves seeing a building project finished, with top quality finishes and happy new owners enjoying the end product.

But for the next six weeks, those happy new owners will be hoards of under five-year-olds, as he gives away six hand-built outside craft benches, complete with mini-tools and kids-size tool belts, to six lucky daycare centres in the Whangarei District.

Built by his own team, Brett says the giveaway is something fun to do, to give back to the community.

“These benches have been built by our blokes for the kids in our community and we really look forward to giving them away, one a week, for the next six weeks,” he says.

To nominate your favourite daycare centre, simply head to the Jennian Homes Facebook page, and click on the link called Jennian Cares. Nominate your daycare centre and they are in to win. The first draw is on June 18, and then the following five Wednesdays after that.

“We support a number of charities and sports teams in Whangarei, and now it was our turn to support the littlies as well – and who knows, we might end up with a few future builders on our hands!” Brett says.

Jennian Homes (Northland) also support the Heart Foundation; Cystic Fibrosis Northland; Junior Rugby League; Parua Bay School; Suns Basketball; SPCA Whangarei; New Zealand Golf and Sport Northland.