Adam Blair Trophy,News,RLN Premiership NorthTec Adam Blair v Warriors Development – 2014 Season Opener

NorthTec Adam Blair v Warriors Development – 2014 Season Opener

NorthTec Adam Blair v Warriors Development – 2014 Season Opener post thumbnail image
Steele Kake

Steele Kake

Jahdon Palmer and Antonius Hepi

Jahdon Palmer and Antonius Hepi

Tumoana Halkyard

Tumoana Halkyard

The NorthTec Adam Blair XIII were defeated by a slick Warriors Development team but they can walk away with their heads held very high.  19 Players representing the 10 Colleges that compete in the NorthTec Adam Blair trophy pushed the Warriors team until the final minutes of the game.

The Warriors started the match with loose forward, Shane Hannan, crossing over almost untouched for the first of his two tries in the opening set of the game.  After the kick off, the Warriors again waltzed down the field with easy yards and the Northland boys looked a little gun shy and the signs didn’t look good.

However, they quickly responded – with the ball in the hand they showed that they were as worthy as their opponents, to be on the paddock and the ball of strong running from Kamo High School’s Jesse Chapman – Raharuhi Fiaui (Taipa Area School) darted over from dummy half.  From this point on with self-belief the Northland team were never out of the match.  The Warriors took a slender 4 point lead into half time 22 – 18.

The second half saw the Northlanders take a 24 – 22 point lead after a try to the impressive James Cherrington (WBHS) – with momentum on their side it looked like an upset could have been on the cards.  However the Warriors proved to have superior Rugby League knowledge and patience, scoring 4 unanswered tries to control the match 42 – 24.  The Northlanders had the last say with a sublime try after they moved the ball from one side to the other with Chaz Palmer (WBHS) dotting over in the corner to finish the game 42 – 28 to the Warriors.

The match was played in front of at least three ex – Kiwis, with Dean Lonergan, Duane Mann and Tony Iro in attendance.  Tony Iro – NZRL High Performance Manager was suitably impressed by the Northland Boys.  “Considering they only had one training session, they showed a hell of a lot of spirit, they scored some sublime tries and their scrambling defence was outstanding,’ he said.

Northland Coach Benson Selwyn was stoked with his boys’ performance, noting their scrambling defence.  “If we could have had a bit more patience and ball control who knows what could have happened.  But I guess when you have limited preparation that is understandable,”  he said.  Selwyn who will coach the Northern Swords 17s later this year is excited at the potential of the team.  “Only 7 of the boys today are too old for the Swords – if we can get these players to continue with League the prospects look good.” Selwyn said.

Northlander Tumoana Halkyard looked good at fullback for the Warriors team – but had to leave the field before half time due to the re-occurrence of a calf strain.

NorthTec Adam Blair XIII – 28.  Tries.  Raharuhi Fiaui (Taipa Area School), Demrys Croft-Haenga (Okaihau College), Stevie Ray Haenga-Albert (Okaihau College), James Cherrington (WBHS), Chaz Palmer (WBHS).  Goals: Hohaia Kawiti-Rata (Kaitaia College), Stevie Ray Haenga-Albert (2)

Warriors Development – 42.  Tries.  S Hannam (2), J Malau, L Soosomea, C Sio, M Esera, C Ngaha, M Haimuli (2).  Goals: T Halkyard, Z Ioka, M Haimulu

Click here to see all of the game photos on our Facebook page.

Click here to see video of pre-game Haka – join the RLN You Tube channel to get instant access to vidoes of the games as they are published.

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In the opening match of the Northland Premiership season Hikurangi Stags proved too strong for the Moerewa Tigers.  Player/Coach Joe Rau showed that he has another season in his legs as he led his charges around the paddock scoring two tries and five conversions to rack up a personal tally of 18 points.  He was ably assisted by another ‘old timer’ as Eric Abraham crossed over for two tries as well.

The Tigers showed some positive signs throughout the match.  They were led by Player/Coach Tawio Davis, playing at an unaccustomed role of centre.  Normally a prop, he looked like a natural at centre.  “We will have a couple of boys’ return this week, which will free me up to go back to Prop – I can’t wait.”  He said.  “We are going through a bit of a re-building phase – but we have some good talent coming through.  It was good to see youngsters Phardray Brown, and Jahdon Palmer play a leading role in the game.”  Both Phardray and Jahdon backed up from the NorthTec Adam Blair XIII.

Hikurangi Stags 42:  Tries: Lani Manukau, Tyson Wihongi, Hobson Faulkner, Joe Rau (2), Eric Abraham (2), Dean Shruers.  Goals:  Joe Rau (5)

Moerewa Tigers 26:  Tries: Keho Wikaira (2), Jahdon Palmer, Mark Aperahama, Herewini McGregor.  Goals; Rikki Mackey (3)

The rest of the season kicks of next Saturday the 5th April. Click here to see all the game pictures on our Facebook page.

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