A great advert for Rugby League Northland, a good sized crowd came to watch two fantastic games of Rugby League. The first game saw some slick skilfull Rugby League with the Warriors Development team teaching the Adam Blair XIII some Rugby League lessons (the Adam Blair XIII are a selection of secondary school boys from around Northland high schools).
The second game, a grand final replay of 2012 was a captivating affair, with 2012’s defeated finalists the Moerewa Tigers taking revenge on the Hikurangi Stags, defeating them 40-36.
Adam Blair XIII vs Warriors Development Team
The Adam Blair XIII fought hard but in the end the Satecy Jones-coached Warriors won 36-4. The sole point scorer for the Adam Blair XIII was Flynn Rolton.
Stacey Jones selected players Swayne Rakete, Tumoana Halkyard and James Fisher-Harris (from Adam Blair XIII) as having strong performance.
Adam Blair XIII coach Joe Henare (shown in blue/white shirt) said his teenage boys did him proud, especially considering they stood and and forced errors from their polished opposition in the first 20 minutes. “They (the Adam Blair XIII) were a little bit surprised once they discovered they’re (the Warriors Development) not as hard as they marke themselves out to be.” “The actual score didn’t depict how the game went. We bombed three tries, had a couple of missed tackles and stray passes which cost us.” “We were matching them the whole time. But, often that last pass let them down. They can hold their heads up high because they played out the 80 minutes”. Credit goes also to Peter Gray, Benson Selwyn and Jon Renes who helped prepare the Adam Blair XIII.
Interviews with Coaches – Stacey Jones (Warriors Development) and Joe Henare (Adam Blair XIII)
Hikurangi Stags vs Moerewa Tigers
The Hikurangi Stags vs the Moerewa Tigers Grand final replay from last season, provided a positive start to the season with a high-scoring encounter, having a little bit of everything. It was a spirited game from both sides, everything you want in a rugby league game with a bit of controversy, a few interesting referee calls and tries in the corner.
Even more positive, was to see the crowd staying to watch the game after the Adam Blair XIII vs Warriors Development match. The spectators were treated to some sublime tries on the back of about six or seven passes. At the end of the game everyone came off congratulating each other. On the back of the weekend’s performance, I’d say potentially, probably an early call, but we could be looking at a rematch of last year’s final, this year.
However, it should be noted that the two teams will not meet each other until the semi-final stages (presuming each team makes it) because teams are split into North and South zoned pools.
Hikurangi Stags (Black/Red/White) vs Moerewa Tigers
A line up of our Referees on the day –