Jennian Homes Junior Draw this week – 24th – 26th June
Joe Rau, player/coach and co-captain was a class act as Hikurangi set up a 2012 Grand Final replay with the Moerewa Tigers at Toll Stadium this Saturday. The Stags defeated the Northern Wairoa Bulls 40 – 20 on Saturday in the RLN Premiership Semi-Final Qualifier. The score line wasn’t a true reflection of the nature of the game as the Bulls never looked like they were out of the contest.
The injury depleted Bulls never gave an inch to the Stags. Prop – Solomone Palu, Loose Forward – Jake Mau and Full Back – Israel Tahere, were outstanding in a very strong team performance. But it was the Joe Rau show as he directed his team round field capping of an impressive performance with two great tries. Rau was backed up older brother Steven Rau leading from the front and the speed of Innocent Tuimavave.
Defending champions, the Hikurangi Stags, will now face Minor Premiers the Moerewa Tigers in a replay of the 2012 Grand Final, in what is set to be an epic encounter.
The other Semi-Final Qualifier between the Hokianga Pioneers and the City Knights demonstrated everything that is Finals Football. Big hits, explosive running, end to end tries, jubilation and heartbreak are all words that don’t justly describe the encounter. It was the Pioneers who controlled most of the game through a more disciplined graft. The Knights who were the RLN Premiership surprise package struggled to find any rhythm in the game as their flamboyant style just didn’t click. On the other hand, the Pioneers kept to the game plan and chugged their way to what seemed like a match winning 26 – 16 lead with 13 minutes left to play.
However all was not to be plain sailing, on the 67th minute, centre – Pouri Hohaia was sin-binned for lifting in the tackle. What resulted in the last 13 minutes was nothing short of sensational. The sin-binning motivated the Knights into action and passes started to stick.
Firstly, Michael Rauahi made a break from the 60m line – jinking and bustling his way over the try line under the posts, then on the back of impressive half – Herewini Edmonds. Then, leading his team up the field, Lawerence Morrell smashed his way over the near the posts. With both conversions successful the Knights somehow were in front for the first time in the match 28 – 26 with 3 minutes left on the clock.
From a short kick off, the Pioneers managed to get the ball back with the Knights giving away a penalty in front of the sticks. Hokianga skipper, Richard Koroi strangely elected not to kick for goal? With less than 30 seconds left on the clock, Pouri Hohaia who was earlier sin-binned turned from villain into hero as he capped off a slick back line move to bust his way over the try line to snatch the victory from luckless Knights 32 – 28.
The Pioneers now face the Takahiwai Warriors in the second major semi final.
Premier Semi-Finals August 3rd – Toll Stadium
1.00pm – Hokianga Pioneers v Takahiwai Warriors
3.00pm – Hikurangi Stags v Moerewa Tigers
See attachment for details of dates and times of all finals games – Finals Fever
It’s Finals time, the time of the year where emotions and passions will run high, it’s do or die and there’s no tomorrow. The RLN Scott Electrical Premiership was incredibly close this year with 7 teams vying for the 6 finals placings. My condolences go out to Muriwhenua Falcons who missed out by a narrow margin of 4 point in the for and against differentials with Otangarei Knights snatching 6th place.
The Knights are defending Champions, could 2015 be a replay of 2014 where the Knights also finished 6th but had a magical three week run? Firstly they knocked out the Portland Panthers, then they upset the Takahiwai Warriors to reach the Grand Final to put a magical performance to come from 26 – 12 behind with less than 20 minutes to play to snatch a remarkable 28 – 26 win over the Hikurangi Stags.
The Hikurangi Stags have dominated the landscape over the last eight years winning 5 Premierships. In 2015 they again look to be favourites going into the business end of the season winning the Minor Premiership. The Stags and Takahiwai Warriors (1st and 2nd) have week 1 of the finals series off. This weekend we see the Hokianga Pioneers come up against the Portland Panthers. Hokianga have had a strong finish to the season to cement 4th place while Portland’s form at the back end of the season has been indifferent. In our 2nd match of the Minor Semi-Finals, Moerewa Tigers will take on defending Champions, the Otangarei Knights. The Tigers led the Premiership for much of the season but have had a difficult back end to their season, however in the final round of the regular season they showed their class, narrowly going down to the Stags 24 – 20. If they can put in an 80 minutes performance they will be hard to beat.
This weekend also sees the Semi-Finals of the Championship Competition. 2015 is the first year that RLN has run a second tier senior competition. The Championship is an 8 team competition with 5 Premiership teams fielding reserve grades and three Non Premiership Clubs, Pawarenga, Otaua and Marist fielding teams. The Top Non-Premiership team in 2015 will gain promotion to the Premiership in 2016 (should criteria be met). The Championship Semis take place on Saturday August 1st with Pawarenga hosting Hikurangi at Broadwood and Takahiwai hosting Otaua, both games kick off at 2.30pm.
This week sees the last week of Mini Mods at the Bluegoose while a cut down version of Mini Mods continues at Lindvart Park on Wednesday evenings. However we have a North meets South Mini Tournament planned for 5th of September as part of the Swords festivities – Northern Swords Mini Mod Competition – 5th September 2015
On a final note please be a good supporter this weekend, it’s ok to be passionate, but It’s Not OK to be an EGG!
Woden Rams from Canberra bring two U16 teams for Northland ExperienceWoden Rams from Canberra bring two U16 teams for Northland Experience
The Woden Rams from Canberra are bringing two Under 16s teams for a Northland Experience. Playing for the Rams will be Kalani Going from Kamo High School who this year has travelled to Canberra and is in the Green Machines Youth Program. This will be a great opportunity for our boys to test themselves against players from Australia!
|October 8th||Where||October 10th||Where|
|Woden 16s A||Marist 18s||Fishbone Park 11.00am||Otaua 18s||Otaua – 3:00pm|
|Woden 16s B||Otaika 15/18 Mix||Fishbone Park 12.30pm||Swords 15’s||Otaua – 4.30pm|