News Protest to NZRL: Successful by Moerewa Tigers

Protest to NZRL: Successful by Moerewa Tigers

Moerewa Tigers have successfully protested to NZRL and will now compete in the Northland Rugby League premiership semi finals.  The Tigers were deducted 2 points last week for allegedly fielding an unregistered player WAY back in May.  In scenes more familar than the Americas Cup, Moerewa put a successful protest into NZRL and WON!!

The successful protest takes them from 5th sport right up to second, dramatically changing the make up of the Semi Finals.  For Takahiwae it demonstrates the emotional up’s and downs of sport.  Last week they narrowly lost thier last round game against Bay Slayers but narrowly scraping through into the playoffs, then on Thursday they were told that they were out of the finals.

Confirmed Semi Finals for Toll Stadium August 4th.


12.00pm (Old Boys Rugby Ground) – Northland U13s Grand Final Kaikohe Lions v Hikurangi Stags

12.30pm – Hokianga Pioneers v Northern Wairoa Bulls (Game 1)

2.30pm – Hikurangi Stags v Moerewa Tigers (Game 2)

The winner of Game 2 goes directly to the Grand Final at Toll Stadium on the 18th of August.  The loser of Game 2 plays the winner of Game 1 to decide the other place in the final.

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Final Second Thriller Ends Swords DreamsFinal Second Thriller Ends Swords Dreams

IMG_7097 IMG_7051 IMG_6990The Northern Swords almost created the biggest upset in the history of the NZRL National Premiership on Saturday at Lindvart Park, in Kaikohe, as they led 28 – 24 with less than a minute left on the clock.  The Swords were deep into the Orcas half on attack when on 5th and final tackle their attempted drop goal got charged down. Orca winger, Patrick Ahnau was first on the scene from the charge down toeing it ahead to commence a footrace with the Swords covering defence. He was fortunate that the ball popped up cleanly into his hands 5 metres away from the try line to score under the posts as the Swords defence tried desperately to hold him up.  Orca’s standoff, Bronson Marino, calmly slotted the 2 points to snatch victory 30 – 28.

In the Swords 5 years in the competition, this was by far their best ever performance.  Wellington are a force in this competition, coming into the game with a record of 1 draw, 1 win and a loss.  Their draw was against the might of the Akarana Falcons.  But it was the Swords who led and controlled the game for all but the final minute.  The Swords were the first on the scoreboard when barnstorming Prop Eli George smashed his way over the try line in the opening 5 minutes.  The opening try installing a sense of self-belief in Jon Renes’ troop of young guns.

Going into half time with a 14 – 8 lead the expectation of the healthy crowd was that Wellington would come out in the second half and dominate, but when inspirational half, Kyle Hool, dazzled everyone with a scintillating 40 metre try to take the Swords to a 20 – 8 the crowd and the Young Swords lifted to another level.  The second half was of a very high standard with both teams lifting their intensity in the collision.

When Penrith bound Caleb Aekins, playing in his debut Swords Premiers game, created something from broken play and outpaced the Orcas defence from 60 metres out to take a 28 – 14 lead with 15 minutes left on the clock, it looked like the unlikely would happen and a major upset was on the cards.

However, Wellington then upped their level and started running with conviction exposing a tiring Swords outfit.  Firstly, winger David Saumolia, squeezed his way over the try line in the far corner with a classic NRL wingers try, dotting the ball down as he was bundled into touch, this act inspired his team mates.  From the kick off the Orcas marched 80 metres for Joseph Oti to score on the opposite flank.  The Swords found another level again and looked as if they were going to shut out the game until the bounce of the ball went Patrick Ahnau’s way.

The Swords young team should take nothing but positive from the game, their defence line worked solidly together for the entire 80 minutes and they played out their sets with patience and control.  18 year old Caleb Aekins, playing at Centre, was outstanding with the ball in hand and his cool temperament on defence ensured a solid edge defence for the Swords.   Another two of the Swords 18 year olds Stevie Ray Haenga-Albert and Kawana Marsden also had standout performances.  Stevie Ray, playing at hooker, was solid defensively in the middle of the ruck and made a number of confident darts from dummy half.  Kawana, playing at Prop, rattled the big Orcas time after time on defence and with the ball in hand.  Unfortunately for the Swords he played no part in the last 40 minutes after he suffered a wrist injury.

The Sword pack looked solid, with Eli George and Jordan Hool having big games.  The halves pairing of Brodie Palmer and Kylie Hool looked slick giving plenty of space and time to outside backs Anaru Thompson and Jayden Bentley-Hape who both had great games.

With Coach Jon Renes building a positive culture, the Swords will travel down to Rotorua to take on the high flying Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions this Saturday. The Stallions have won three out of four in the competition with their only defeat to top of the table the Canterbury Bulls.  They defeated Akarana in the weekend 28 – 26.

Wellington Orcas 30 (Axton Daniels, David Saumolia, Ulai Oti, Joseph Oti, Patrick Ahnau & Michael O’Brien tries; Bronson Marino 3 goals) Northern Swords 28 (Israel Tahere, Caleb Aekins, Anaru Thompson, Daniel Fulop, Kyle Hool & Eli George tries; Fulop 2 goals); HT: 8-14

Click here to view a selection of photographs from the game.

Vodafone Warriors vs Aquis TitansVodafone Warriors vs Aquis Titans

RLN is pleased to be working with WDC to bring the Warriors v Titans to Whangarei! If you want standard tickets get in quick as there are still some early bird tickets available for $10 per adult!

Click here to buy your tickets.

Keep posted to the RLN website as there will be Special bus and ticket prices available in the New Year from Dargaville, Opononi, Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Kaitaia.

Corporate Hospitality Packages are now available for the Warriors on 13 February at Toll Stadium including Table of 8’s in the Level 3 Lounge and Single and Double Corporate Suites. For information and to book yours, contact Rugby League Northland GM Alex Smits – Get in quick if you’re keen, they won’t last!

Corporate Hospitality