News RLN Championship Launched

RLN Championship Launched

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The news of the round was the launch of the RLN Championship.  The RLN Championship is a second tier competition that will be competed against by 8 teams.

The Championship draw will follow the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership draw with Premiership teams fielding reserve grade teams including, Takahiwai, Otangarei, Horahora, Hikurangi, and Moerewa, joining them will be Otaua Valleys, Pawarenga Broncos and Marist Brothers.  To ensure that the draw runs cohesively, Premiership clubs will pair up with non-premiership clubs, this will see Otaua pairing with Hokianga, Marist pairing with Portland and Pawarenga pairing with Muriwhenua.  This will see these clubs sharing playing facilities as well as a playing base.

RLN General Manager Alex Smits said, “This is a big step forward for League in Northland, the introduction of a second tier competition will see us build depth as well as width.  It’s really impressive to see 5 premiership clubs fielding a second team.  This will provide a platform for younger players to be introduced to senior league as well as providing an avenue for the older players who still want to put their boots on, we hope that over time it will increase the overall standard of league in Northland.”

The three new teams to the Championship, Otaua, Pawarenga and Marist will have 2015 to prove their ability to play into a potentially expanded 2016 Premiership.  It is hoped that over the course of the next 2 – 3 years, all Premiership clubs will be able to field teams in the Championship.

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Swords Show some promise as they were stung by StingraysSwords Show some promise as they were stung by Stingrays

The inexperienced and youthful Swords were stung by a powerful Stingray barb yesterday at a cold, wet, Toll Stadium as they were defeated 46 – 6 by Counties Manukau Stingrays. The South Auckland boys were a class above the Northern Swords.

The scoreline in fairness, showed a larger margin than the game reflected.  In years gone by the Swords defence line would have parted like the red sea. However, yesterday it stood strong.  Defensively, the Swords dug in and defended well as a team.  Swords second row Jordan Hool put a number of bone clanging hits on the Stingrays that was worth the admission ticket.

The real issue was the inexperience the Swords showed when they had the ball in hand as they failed to complete their sets, coughing up the ball early in the tackle count time after time.  In Rugby League if you don’t have the ball, you are tackling and that is what tires you out. Teams like Counties Manukau will plug through their sets, tire you out and wait for their chances, which is exactly what they did.

However coach Swords Coach Mark Freeman should have been happy with the go forward potential shown by his props, Chris Apoua, Elliot Pomare, and Andre Lennox, who all showed that it doesn’t matter what grade you play, if you run hard, you make good yards.  Loose Forward Adam Donaldson also looked good with ball in hand.

Daniel Fulop, the Swords 18 year old Stand Off scored the Swords only points as he stole a try from Dummy Half in one of the few times the Swords entered the Stingrays 20 metre zone.

Coach Mark Freeman was pragmatic in defeat, “I hope we have got that out of our system.  Sure there were some positives – but as football players you have to learn patience and discipline, which we showed none of with the ball.  The boys in the middle showed we could go forward but all too often we spilled the ball early in the tackle count.”

“We hope to iron out these problems next week and be prepared for our trip down to Whanganui to take on the Central Vipers.’ Freeman said. The Vipers will not be an easy challenge as they defeated the Wellington Orcas 32 – 22 on Saturday.  The Orcas defeated the Swords last week 36 – 14.

The Northern Swords Premiers have a BYE in the National Championship next week, however in order to continue to build their game they will be playing against an Auckland U20′s team, hosted at Portland on Saturday 6th September.  Swords 17s v Auckland U18s KO 12:30pm.  Swords Premiers v Auckland U20s KO 2:00pm.

JOB Vacancy: Rugby League Development ManagerJOB Vacancy: Rugby League Development Manager

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