Bulls player Jakey Mau runs it straight at Takahiwai defenders
It will come down to this weekend’s matches to determine who will take the fourth spot on the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership table recently vacated by Hokianga Pioneers. The Northern Wairoa Bulls and Portland Panthers currently sit two points adrift of each other, Portland ahead by two points, and both teams are playing two of the top teams this weekend.
If the Northern Wairoa Bulls can pull off a convincing win against their opposition, Otangarei Knights and Moerewa topple Portland, points differential will come into play. Both the Bulls and Portland have a guaranteed two points with Portland with the Bye and the Bulls scheduled to play against the withdrawn Hokianga Pioneers. However, if the Bulls lose, they will certainly be out of finals contention and can start planning for a 2017 challenge. The Bulls are going to have to throw everything they have at Otangarei in the hopes of upsetting them on their home ground.
The top three placings are cemented with Takahiwai sitting on 22 points one ahead of Moerewa on 21, whilst Otangarei have accumulated 17 points. Portland, who are currently fourth have 12 points. This sets up the final round, where the Minor Premiership will definitely be decided when the top of the table clash will see Takahiwai take on Moerewa in what could be the precursor to the Grand Final.
Upcoming fixtures in the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership:
Round 13 – 2nd July
Otangarei Knight v NW Bulls at Fishbone Park – 2.30pm
Moerewa Tigers v Portland Panthers at Simpson Park – 2.30pm
Round 14 – 9th July
Horahora Broncos v Otangarei knights at Horahora RFC – 2.30pm
Takahiwai Warriors v Moerewa Tigers at Takahiwai RLC – 2.30pm
Over 50 College hopefuls attended Bay of Islands College on Sunday, to trial for the NorthTec Adam Blair XIII. In a day that the heavens threatened to open up, there was some heavenly Rugby League played. Considering the players had never played with each other, the quality of Rugby League on show gave Coach Jim Larkin some difficult choices.
The match against the Warriors Development has become an annual highlight on the RLN Calendar, 2015 will be the third time it is played. The game will be part of a Rugby League Northland extravaganza of League with two RLN Premiership games being played on the same day at Central Rugby Ground – Lindvart Park in Kaikohe. For the hopeful College players it’s a great opportunity to gauge their skills against future Warriors players.
In 2014 the Adam Blair XIII team was incredibly competitive, narrowly losing 42 – 28, with the Warriors scoring a couple of late tries. Two players remain from the 2014 squad – Whangarei Boys’ High Centre – Caleb Aekins and Okaihau half-back Stevie Ray Haenga-Albert.
Coach Jim Larkin was incredibly happy with the squad announced, “We are definitely seeing an improvement in the quality of Rugby League being played at college level. I have picked a squad that work to the intensity, equal to what the Warriors will play to. We lack a little bit of size up front, but what we lack there, will be made up with speed and a big work rate”.
The squad named is: Coach: Jim Larkin; Manager: Tarei Patuwairoa; Trainer: Jon Renes
RLN Premiership Season Opener – 28th March Central Rugby Ground, Kaikohe
Curtain Raiser: RLN Premiership – Kerikeri Makos v Muriwhenua Falcons 1.30pm
NorthTec Adam Blair XIII v Warriors Development– 3.00pm
Hokianga Pioneers v Moerewa Tigers –