News,RLN Premiership Hikurangi Stags Confirm Minor Premiership with Two Rounds to Play

Hikurangi Stags Confirm Minor Premiership with Two Rounds to Play

Hikurangi Stags Confirm Minor Premiership with Two Rounds to Play post thumbnail image

IMG_7244 IMG_7243 IMG_7200The Hikurangi Stags, the quiet achievers in the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership, have all but won the Minor Premiership with two weeks left to play, after thrashing Horahora 64 – 10.   In doing so, the Stags sit on 26 points and have put a five point buffer between them and second placed, Moerewa Tigers.

Moerewa Tigers hold on to second place after their loss to the Otangarei Knights.  It would be fair to say that the Tigers are in a form slump, with last week’s draw the only points the Tigers have won in the last four weeks.  With the exception of Hikurangi securing top place, the top six placings will not be confirmed until the final whistle in two weeks time.  The Tigers run home sees them play the Bulls and Hikurangi.

The win for the Knights win over the Tigers sees them hold onto sixth place, keeping the Hokianga Pioneers out of the top six only by points differential. The Pioneers are hurting after their abandoned game last week against Portland with the result being a point a piece.  In the RLN Format, teams had 14 days to replay the game or they would have to share the points.  The Pioneers were hungry to play the game, but the Panthers couldn’t accommodate them due to a number of the Squad being shift workers. The Pioneers have Horahora and Muriwhenua for their run home so destiny is in their own hands. Otangarei have a tougher ask on paper with Takahiwai and Portland.

Takahiwai have found form at the right end of the season with 28 – 14 win over the Portland Panthers, while the Panthers continue their up and down form.  The win puts Takahiwai into 3rd place and the Panthers slip from 3rd to 5th.  Muriwhenua Falcons are the dark horses of the Premiership with their 40 – 30 win over the Northern Wairoa Bulls.  The Bulls loss will see them almost certainly miss out on the finals, they sit on 14 points with sixth place sitting on 18.

Week one of the play offs is on the 2nd of August at Toll Stadium, the top 2 earn the week off, while 3rd plays 6th and 4th plays 5th in the Minor Semis Finals.  The Major Semi finals are on August the 8th with 1st playing the winner between 4th and 5th and 2nd playing the winner between 3rd and 6th.  August 16th is the Grand Final, all played at Toll Stadium.

In the Championship, Otangarei beat Moerewa 30 – 10, Takahiwai beat Marist 30 – 22.  The Championship playoff sees a top 4 straight semi-finals.  The Top three is all but confirmed with Pawarenga, Otaua and Takahiwai.  Fourth place will be anyone between Moerewa, Marist, Otangarei and Hikurangi.
Click here to view RLN Scott Electrical Premiership – Results and Points Table

Click here to view RLN Championship – Results and Points Table


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Knights fairy tale finish not to be repeated in 2015Knights fairy tale finish not to be repeated in 2015

Otangarei vs Moerewa-53 Otangarei vs Moerewa-66 Otangarei vs Moerewa-75 IMG_5541








[Photography courtesy of Robert O’Hara, Saranis Photography]

The Otangarei Knights couldn’t repeat their 2014 fairytale story as they were bundled out of the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership in the Minor Semis against the Moerewa Tigers. For much of the game it looked like the Knights, who just scraped into the top 6, were going to succeed at the first hurdle against the Tigers. They looked composed and in control at 18 – 10 going into half time, however it was the Tigers who came of the sheds firing. The Tigers built constant pressure throughout the last 40 minutes and were camped in the Knights half throughout the second half. In all, during the second half, the Tigers scored four tries to one, to take the game away from the Otangarei Knights 28 – 22.

For the Tigers, Jayden Bentley Hape was strong in his first game back, Wilson Hona and Peter Prime linked well to give the Tigers room to move. In the Knights team Franko Newton was strong with the ball in hand, Jordan Katene led well from Full Back while Shane Herbett-Porter was a workhorse in all facets of the game. The Tigers progress forward to next Saturday where they will face off against the Takahiwai Warriors for the right to play in the Grand Final.


Hokianga vs Portland-30 Hokianga vs Portland-7 IMG_5379 IMG_5375








In the first game of the day the Hokianga Pioneers fired a warning shot to the competition as they outclassed the Portland Panthers 40 -32 in a high scoring affair. The match was a hard physical encounter, the first half was close with the Pioneers taking an 18 – 16 lead, but the Pioneers dominated the second half. They dominated on the back of uncompromising defence, that rattled the Panthers. The Pioneers won 42 – 30, with the score line a little complimentary to the Panthers who rallied too late to score a couple of late tries, but by this time the Pioneers had already had their minds focused on a Major Semi-Final against the Hikurangi Stags. For the Panthers, Hone Heke and Sharif Mangu were strong out wide and got involved in the hard graft and Levi Gavin and Josh Poasa showed some good go forward. For the Pioneers, Blueray Joyce showed his class scoring two tries, Richard Koroi led the team around in a controlled manner with Danny Makiha and Marcus Wikaira providing the go forward.

Battle of the North in the Championship

The inaugural Championship final will be an all North affair to be played between Otaua Valleys and the Pawarenga Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Hikurangi Stags at home 26 – 12, while Otaua defeated the Takahiwai Warriors 40 – 30 at Takahiwai. The Grand Final will be played on August 16th at Toll Stadium as the curtain raiser to the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership Grand Final.

Both teams were the front runners in the Championship competition throughout the season. Otaua were relegated to third due to the failure to provide a match card for their second to last round against Horahora. Otaua and Pawarenga met in the last round of the Championship with Otaua victorious on that day winning a tight encounter 12 – 6

Otaua and Pawarenga will be playing for not only the Championship trophy but also for the right to gain promotion to the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership. With Kerikeri dropping out of the competition this year it has left a place for the Top ‘non-premiership’ team to be promoted to the top grade should they meet minimum criteria.

Junior Grand Finals – Friday August 7th – Mangakahia Sports Complex

5.00pm – 14s – Portland Panthers v Hikurangi Stags
6.15pm – Elijah Taylor Cup 16s – Otaika Eagles v Otaua Valleys
7.30pm – Sam McKendry Cup 18s – Northern Wairoa Bulls v Marist Bros