|HOME TEAM||AWAY TEAM|
|Otaua Valleys||32||vs||Kerikeri Slayers||26|
|Moerewa Tigers||36||vs||Muriwhenua Kuaka||30|
|Takahiwai Warriors||62||vs||Hora Hora Broncos||18|
|Portland Panthers||20||vs||Hikurangi Stags||22|
|City Knights||22||vs||Northern Wairoa Bulls||24|
The competition tightened up in round four of the RLN Premiership. Both early front runners, the Moerewa Tigers and Hikurangi Stags were pushed to the final minutes to take their respective matches this week.
The Tigers remain unbeaten with a thrilling 36 – 30 victory over an under-strength Muirwhenua Kuaka. The Kuaka, who only had 14 players for the entire match, displayed immense courage and character, standing toe to toe with the Tigers and led for a long period of the match. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that the Tigers secured the win.
The young gun Panthers, with a number of 2012’s Championship 17’s and Whangerei Boys High School Adam Blair Champions, put on a positive display of fast energetic Rugby League to let the Stags know that it’s not going to be all easy sailing. It took the class of Hikurangi’s young flyer, Joachim Edmonds, to snatch victory from the youth of Portland Panthers.
The previously winless Otaua Valleys secured their first win in another thrilling encounter 32 – 26 against another young team in the Kerikeri Slayers. The Slayers inexperience cost them the match at crucial times. The Northern Wairoa Bulls beat City Knights in another close encounter 24 – 22. In the final match of the round Takahiwai Warriors remain unbeaten with a resounding 62 – 18 win over the Horahora Broncos.
This week in the RLN Premiership will be the final local round before the North/South cross-over rounds. The match of the round will be between unbeaten Takakiwai Warriors against the high flying Hikurangi Stags. The other match to watch out for will be Kerikeri hosting the Hokianga Pioneers at the Kerikeri Domain. Kerikeri will be looking for their first win against arch rivals, the Pioneers.
The photo in this article is courtesy of Tania Newman, Northern Advocate. Click here for the full news story by Peter Thorley
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Kaitaia’s Krystal Murray has been selected to represent the New Zealand Women’s rugby league team, the Kiwi Ferns, for the curtain raiser match against archrivals the Australian Jillaroos. The match will be played in Newcastle as undercard to the Downer ANZAC test Friday 6 May. Krystal has represented the Kiwi Ferns since 2014 and was selected in her first year of playing rugby league. Based at Linton Military camp in the Manawatu and serving as soldier at the time for the New Zealand Logistics Regiment she attended the NZRL National Women’s tournament representing the Mid-Central Zone. Krystal left the Army in 2015 and moved home to Kaitaia to provide family support and has been travelling to Auckland to play club rugby league for Papakura to remain eligible for national selection. Krystal made mention of the improved structure in the team with the build up for this test match and that it would be great for Northland to have its own Women’s competition in the future.
Coach Alan Jackson has named five test newcomers in his 18-strong group to take on Australia. Jackson admits the selection of this outfit presented some tough challenges.
“The selectors and I had a number of sleepless nights picking this team,” he says. “The quality of the players we have in the game in New Zealand at the moment is very, very good, making this a hard job, but we’re very happy with the 18 that we have. “The Aussies have very fast backs and very strong forwards that keep working all day, so it’s going to be a real challenge. They beat us by eight last year, so we’re looking for a little bit of revenge.” The Kiwi Ferns muster in Auckland this Sunday and fly to Sydney on Tuesday for the Friday night fixture that will be televised.