Adam Blair Trophy,News Adam Blair’s Involvement

Adam Blair’s Involvement

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Photo by: Simon Watts /

Photo by: Simon Watts /

It’s great to see Kiwi 732 Adam Blair, re-finding his form and leading from the Kiwis pack from the front again. Adam Blair is an ex-Student from Whangarei Boys High School and will make a guest appearance at the Sport Northland College Sports Awards on Thursday night to present a number of awards including the Rugby League Player College Player of the year!A true blue Northlander – click here to see what is means to Adam to again represent the Kiwis, where he grew up and how he got into League.

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Leadership through League expands traditional League boundariesLeadership through League expands traditional League boundaries

Gary Shortland’s Year 13 PE class demonstrates learned leadership qualities whilst coaching in their local community.

Gary Shortland’s Year 13 PE class demonstrates learned leadership qualities whilst coaching in their local community.


Rugby League Northland has kicked off the year with a roar, coaching over 600 kids in the last couple of weeks via the Leadership through League program.  Development Officers Joe Rau and Paparangi Pirini have been working with Ruawai and Kaitaia College.

In two days, in Kaitaia they have coached just over 400 students, between Pompallier Catholic and Kaitaia Primary schools.   In Ruawai, the College students coached the entire Ruawai Primary School as well as running sessions for their Year 9 and 10s at lunch times.

Alex Smits, Rugby League Northland’s General Manager has been mentoring the Mid-Far North’s new Development Officer Paparangi Pirini, in delivering the programme.  Alex Smits says, “Both he and Paparangi have been very impressed by the maturity and ownership of the Kaitaia College students, and further, have received extremely high praise from Brendon Morrissey, Principal of Kaitaia Primary and Katherine Carey, Principal of Pompallier Catholic School.

Using the Tuakana Teina philosophy of older students coaching younger students.  The Secondary School students themselves learn leadership and role modeling and in turn, teach the fundamental skills of Rugby League to younger students in Years 1 – 8.  The program has been designed to incorporate Fundamental and core League skills coaching.  RLN is also piloting a Story Book Fundamental skills program called Blue and Red that sees Years 1 and 2 relating to the farm yard experiences of “Blue and Red” – working farm dogs.  Blue and Red was designed in Queensland, Australia and reflects the Queensland and NSW Colours.

Not only that, in partnership with Northland DHB’s “Water is the Best Drink” health promotion, they are promoting our tamariki to drink water and not high sugar drinks as the best way to re-hydrate themselves.

Leading on from Coaching in Schools are Northland Regional Festivals.  In 2014 Rugby League Northland has worked with Sport Northland to plan festivals across Northland to give every school an opportunity of giving Rugby League a go.  The festivals are based around fun and participation and in most cases will be run in partnership with a local secondary school, providing Coaches (where required) and Referees, as a part of the Leadership through League Program.

The top two schools from each festival will qualify to enter an end of year Tournament in Term 4 to play for the right to be Northland Champions at Years 4-6 and 7/8.

The first festivals off the Rank are- Dargaville High School -April 10thand Kaitaia College on April 16th .

Click here for more information – Primary Schools Festivals Information

Other dates are:

Term Area Date Venue
One Dargaville April 10th – Thursday Dargaville High
Kaitaia April 16th – Wednesday Kaitaia College
Two Okaihau – Kerikeri June 13th – Friday Okaihau College
Whangarei (WPSSA Festival) June 24th – Tuesday Kensington Park
Bay of Islands TBC Bay of Islands College TBC
Three Kaikohe – Hokianga 29th August – Friday Lindvart Park
Bream Bay 23rd September – Tuesday Bream Bay College
Four Northland Champions Festival 22nd October – Wednesday Years 4-6 Tournament TBC
Northland Champions Festival 29th October – Wednesday Year 7 and 8 Tournament TBC


13s Show League is alive and Kicking in the Junior Ranks13s Show League is alive and Kicking in the Junior Ranks

The 13s had their show piece event at Toll Stadium on Sunday.  It was testament to the quality of the surface at Toll Stadium that it could handle three games in one day even after the amount rain that Northland has received over the last couple of days.

13s Plate Final – A Game of Two Halves

IMG_8000 IMG_7989 IMG_7964Rugby League is definitely a game of momentum.  In the first half the game was all Manaia View as they went into a seemingly unassailable 20 – 6 lead.  They were well led around the park by the dominant running of loose forward Wiremu Proctor.

However, come the second half, it was a different game with the Horahora Broncos running riot to take out the game 42 – 24.  Loose forward Zion O’Leary was man of the match with barnstorming run after run, laced with some slick passing.


13s Championship Grand Final – Last Minute Thriller!

IMG_8056 IMG_8064IMG_8049In a match that both teams should be really proud to have been a part of, the Otangarei Knights and Portland Panthers put on a scintillating display of finals footy.  Nothing separated the two teams throughout the duration of the match with both teams locked in at 10 points all at half time.

The second half was a seesawing affair, as teams traded try for try.  Both teams showed that they were well coached by their respective coaches (Portland – Riki Shelford, Otangarei – Neville Tohu).

With the teams locked at 20 points all, with less than 1 minute left on the clock it looked certain to go to golden point until Portland Centre Riki Shelford Junior, burst through the Otangarei defence line from 10 metres out, to score under the posts.  With time up on the clock the boys from Portland had snatched a classic victory.

Man of the match was Portland’s half back Te Aorewa Patira who showed everyone that size doesn’t matter on the League field.  Otangarei’s Xavier Mexted also deserves a notable mention for the way he directed his team around the paddock.

RLN Championship ChampionsRLN Championship Champions

Pawarenga Broncos v Otaua Valleys-060 Pawarenga Broncos v Otaua Valleys-037 Pawarenga Broncos v Otaua Valleys-020 Pawarenga Broncos v Otaua Valleys-010Congratulations to the Otaua Valleys, the inaugural RLN Championship winners and in doing so, gaining promotion to the 2016 RLN Scott Electrical Premiership. It was a hugely entertaining game that had everything, scintillating tries, big hits, two send offs, in a battle of two closely connected communities. Pawarenga, for your first year back in Rugby League, you should be very proud of your efforts.

We have had to split the video into two halves in order to allow for better viewing.  You will note through the magic of TV, there was a special guest commentator who was in Australia during the match!

Click here to watch the first half of the match.

Click here to watch the second half of the match.