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It’s Business Time

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It’s Business Time!

Can you smell the excitement in the air?  It’s finals fever!!

One thing that always entertains us is how excited players and coaches and supporters get about finals!  It doesn’t matter what age or grade the player is – Finals are Finals – and they are something to get excited about.  Over the course of a player’s career, some can only dream of playing in a final, let alone the chance to win!

Rugby League Northland would like to congratulate the Moerewa Tigers for winning the Minor Premiership – the Tigers have been the form team all year, and will have this first week off from the playoffs.  Takahiwai Warriors, in 2nd place, have also earned the week off.  The Premiership has been a tight encounter with only 5 points separating 1st and 5th place.

This Saturday (27th July) is the first week of the RLN Premiership Finals with the Semi-Final Qualifiers being played at Lindvart Park in Kaikohe.  A big thank you to Mike Edmonds and the Kaikohe Rugby Club for allowing us to use the Rugby Grounds. It’s a fanstastic playing surface with a great grass roots atmosphere!  Make sure that if you get a chance, that you come to Kaikohe to watch the Semi’s as we have two cracker jack games lined up.

At 1.00pm, we kick off with last years Champions the Hikurangi Stags v Northern Wairoa Bulls.  Both teams have struggled to find form in the last round of the Premiership.  A month  ago the Bulls defeated the Stags in a thrilling 24 – 18 victory to gain top place in the Premiership.  Since then, the Bulls have won only one game finishing the season in 5th place.  The Stags will be wanting to continue the Bulls poor form and set up a replay of the 2012 Grand Final in next week’s Semi-Final at Toll Stadium against the Tigers.

Then at 3.00pm, the Hokianga Pioneers are up against the City Knights.  The Pioneers have been Mr Consistent throughout 2013 and ended the season in 3rd place.  The Knights have been the steady improvers throughout the season.  Alex Smits (RLN’s GM) refereed them in the 1st and last round of the season and what a difference!  They went from a disorganised ramble, to a finely tuned attacking machine!!  Well done to the City club for the turn around in form and culture!!  During the cross over rounds the Pioneers defeated City 36 – 28 at City’s home ground.

Both games will be hard to predict…as in all Finals games, expect the unexpected!  If you love live sport get to Lindvart Park this week!

On another note the 13s, 15s and 18s Semi-Finals will be played next weekend (4th August).  All the Finals are scheduled for the 11th of August at Toll Stadium.

Also wishing our 5 boys the best of luck with their Kiwi trials in Rotorua this week.

See attachment for details of dates and times of all finals games – Finals Fever

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Swords 15s go within a breath of Victory!Swords 15s go within a breath of Victory!

While the Premiers were doing battle with the Wellington Orcas the 15s and 17s Swords were in Tournament mode taking on the best Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coastline had to offer in the Upper Central Zone district tournament in Rotorua.  The tournament is used as a building block to prepare for the 15s and 17s National Zonal Tournament held in late September.

The Swords 15s had an outstanding tournament, going within a breath of taking it out.  With less than 4 minutes left on the clock they were leading Bay of Plenty 18 – 16 when they gave away a penalty.  BOP declined the kick taking the Swords by surprise to march down the field and score winning in a thrilling match 20 -18.

To make the final the Swords defeated Bay of Plenty 34 – 4, Coastline 26 – 24 and Waikato 23 – 16.  They were rewarded for their impressive display with five boys selected for the tournament team – Takakino Makara, Nikau Graham, Brody Tamarua, Jackson Sparkson -Brott, and Thomas Anderson with Thomas getting forward of the tournament.

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Takakino Makara

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Coach Jim Larkin was pleased with his team’s performance, “This gives us a real understanding of where we are at as a team, I knew we had talent and this squad and the weekends’ performance proved it.  We beat BOP in the first match of the tournament although disappointing to lose to them in the final it was still a massive achievement,” he said.

The Swords 17s didn’t have as much success as the 15s, however they put on some solid displays of League, giving coach Benson Selwyn, lots of positives to take out of the weekend by finishing 3rd.  “It was a good test for us to get used to playing Tournament Football, we were under prepared to play 4 games in two days and some of the boys got early knocks but we now know where we need to work on” he said.

The Swords 17s defeated Coastline 26 – 14, lost to Waikato 32 – 14 and Bay of Plenty 36 – 6 and then defeated Coastline 28 – 14 in the 3rd and 4th playoff. Full Back Duncan McIvor and Stand Off Caleb Aekins, were selected in the Tournament Team.

RLN Scott Electrical Finals Live on TVRLN Scott Electrical Finals Live on TV

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Click here to view the Channel North Live Stream

The RLN Scott Electrical Premiership is gaining in momentum as it hits finals time. The event is becoming part of the Northland sporting calendar with three consecutive weekends of finals football played at Toll Stadium. In 2014, over 2500 spectators flocked to the stadium with underdogs the Otangarei Knights snatching victory from the Hikurangi Stags in the dying seconds!

2015 is set to become an even bigger event with Channel North announcing that they will be live streaming the Grand Final live on their TV network as well as via the Rugby League Northland and NZRL websites. The event will be filmed with 3 cameras and will have live commentary. Channel North broadcasts off Freeview terrestrial, channel 35 to about 50,000 households in Northland.

Channel North will cover both the Championship and the Premiership Finals but only the Premiership Final will be streamed live.  The Championship game will be delayed via the RLN Website.

Commencing in March the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership has 10 clubs competing from Dargaville to Whangarei to Kaitaia and everywhere in between. Otangarei Knights are the defending Champions, however the Hikurangi Stags have dominated the landscape over the last eight years winning 5 Premierships and in 2015 again look to be favourites going into the business end of the season cementing the Minor Premiership two weeks ago.

NorthTec Adam Blair XIII – SelectionNorthTec Adam Blair XIII – Selection

Triallist will be required to attend a training camp at Whakarongorua Marae (at Okaihau College), Okaihau on the 22nd/23rd of March, starting at 12:00pm on Saturday and ending on Sunday at 12:00pm.

Letters to the selection will be sent to the schools early this week.

Bay of Islands College Danyon HATI
Bay of Islands College Jahdon PALMER
Kaitaia College Hohaia RATA
Kamo High School Jesse CHAPMAN
Okaihau College Stevie Ray HAENGA-ALBERT
Okaihau College Demrys CROFT-HAENGA
Okaihau College Scott FLOOD
Northland College Harding LEEF
Northland College Antonius HEPI
Northland College Neville SHELFORD
Taipa Area School Raharuhi FIAUI
Te Rangi Aniwaniwa Jordan FOSTER
Tikipunga High School Wayne IRIPA
Tikipunga High School Liam CLARE
Whangaroa College Phardray BROWN
Whangarei Boys High School Judah ANDREWS
Whangarei Boys High School Steele KAKE
Whangarei Boys High School Haane RUDOLPH
Whangarei Boys High School Tiaki SMITH
Whangarei Boys High School James CHERRINGTON
Whangarei Boys High School Caleb AEKINS
Whangarei Boys High School Ioane JOB
Whangarei Boys High School Tipara JOB
Whangarei Boys High School Chazz PALMER