13s,Jennian Homes Juniors,News RLN Grand Finals – 13s – Toll Stadium – Sunday 31st August

RLN Grand Finals – 13s – Toll Stadium – Sunday 31st August

 Champions Final Portland Panthers v Otangarei Knights – Kick off 1:15pm

This should be a cracker of a game, both teams did it very hard last year as younger blokes in the 13s 2013 competition, losing many of games by heavy defeats, but as the old saying goes “What doesn’t break you can only make you stronger”. Which seems to be the case, as the Panthers and the Knights have been the form teams throughout a long season in the 13s grade.

This game would be very hard to pick as it will come down to whichever team wants it on the day and plays best.

Portland have a very powerfull forward park with the likes of Riki Shelford jnr, son of the coach and ex Northland hardman Riki Shelford, also backed up with boy mountain, Richmond Patua and hard running forwards Manny Snooks, Tirai Pitman-Clark and Dante Poasa to name a few. They also have the players in Kiarni Ranui, Kawai Wihongi and Haki Thompson who will look to feed off and complement the platform that the forwards will look to lay with speed and x factor.

Otangarei Knights have been playing a very well structured type game all year. Based on teamwork applied footy, they have been dissecting other teams to pieces by moving the opposition around, with hard running forward, Neihana Marsh and strong defender, Rangatira Keerako. This team runs good attacking shapes that some premier teams would look second to, lead around by their little General, Xavier Mexted, son of the Otangarei coach Neville Radovanovich and has some very good outside backs running off him in Tane Mackie, Ethan Hodge and Elijah Cherrington.

Rugby League Northland will be sitting on the fence in regards to favourites, but this will be an awesome game to watch as both these teams have beaten each other quiet convincely this Year.


Plate Final Horahora Broncos vs Manaia View – Kick off 12:00pm

This game will also be another good game between 2 evenly matched Teams. Manaia have a very young team and will look to be a dominant force in this grade next year.

Horahora also have a young side with alot of players new to the game and will also be a force next year if they stay together.But both teams will be looking at going out with intentions to be crowned Plate Champions.

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A Message from our ChairmanA Message from our Chairman

Bruce Peden - RLN Chairman of the Board

Bruce Peden – RLN Chairman of the Board

2014 is the last year that I stand as Chairman of RLN. Both myself and Tom Jackson have been Board Members since Rugby League Northland inception in 2010 and due to constitutional process both myself and Tom will be stepping down at the next AGM. I can say that I will be stepping down confident that the game has moved in the right direction. As a organisation, the work is by no means completed, however there is a solid foundation for sustainability.

In our first four years our organisational priorities have been to:

  • Establish RLN as a credible sport that can provide opportunities across all levels for whanau and communities;
  • Ensure that there is a logical Rugby League playing calendar for participants to engage with including a representative pathway;
  • Ensure RLN provides guidance and grows capability in our clubs and competitions;
  • Create an organisation that partners feel confident to engage with;
  • Establish a reputable community program in schools; and
  • Focus on fiscal responsibility.

We have recruited a talented Board of Directors who will now steer the organisation into a refined Strategic Direction. The above priorities will remain in place however our focus will move more toward quality improvement.

Our new strategic plan will align – NZRL – RLN and our Clubs, developing the three levels of League within NZRL to move together to build our future.

There are three key areas that we will focus on:


Everything RLN does needs to have a long term effect on improving Rugby League – Our Game!


The game of Rugby League is for everyone. RLN exists to serve the Rugby League Community of Northland. For the game to improve and grow, so does the RLN Community. The Kiwi is the pinnacle of the game. To support the Kiwi, we need to recognise all elements of Iwi (people) that make up Kiwi – Te Iwi Kiwi.


To develop and grow we need to ensure that RLN and our activities are planned within the means of our operation. We need to protect, grow and develop our resources from our people to our financial operation.

Finally on behalf of the board I would like to thank all of our valued sponsors and funders for your support this season, I would also like to thank the players and volunteers for making this a successful season.

Bruce Peden, Chairman RLN Board

Jon Renes named as Senior Swords Coach for 2015Jon Renes named as Senior Swords Coach for 2015

Jon Renes has been named as the Northern Swords Premier Coach for the 2015 NZRL National Premiership Competition.  Jon has proven experience in high performance sports from a preparation component and sees the step as a natural progression.

“I’ve been involved with Rugby League at a high performance level as a trainer for the last 15 years.  My speciality is around preparing athletes for competition, this is the key to start making a change and that is to start building the Swords from ground up.  My main focus is around building a culture and desire to play for the jersey.  If we think we can bring a team together and then coach them in a short period of time this is unrealistic it’s got to be about the build up and the preparation.  That is my first priority. There is a lot of pride in Northland, we have 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation representative players, if we can get Mana back into the jersey that will be a step in the right direction.

Jon goes on to comment that one of the key focuses is building the Brotherhood within Northland, with Clubs being the key to this.  By doing so I hope to build strong relationships with the players – coaches and club management.  A successful Northland team will be based around everyone in Northland working together to build pride in the jersey.

He says that he is not concerned about results in the first year – firstly it’s about process, building a culture of performance and process which ultimately comes down to individual and collective responsibility.  As we build on this we want to see the Northland Premier jersey be a platform to launch future careers.  This has already happened from the Swords with Corey Harawira-Naera being signed to play for the Panthers 20s in 2013, other Junior Sword players are making a career from Rugby League with James Fisher-Harris and Steel Kake also signing with the Panthers – both were signed after playing for the Swords 17s.

Alex Smits RLN General Manager said,” We are privileged to have Jon’s experience engaged with our organisation.  He has been with the Swords for the last four years and understands athletic development as well as the culture of Northland.  Moving forward we are wanting to develop our performance pathway, we have a lot of talented athletes in Northland and we don’t want them to feel that if they haven’t made it by the time they are 18 that it’s too late.   We are starting to now see many of recent 17s playing in the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership which is having a positive effect on the quality of the competition.”

RLN has also for the first time, formed a Swords Advisory Panel that will help mould the future of the Swords representative program.  The panel recently formed with Brad Flower and Juanita Hool from the RLN Board also has Shane Hool from Takahiwai and Sean Tito from Horahora, as well as Jon Renes and  Alex Smits.  “We’re currently focusing on the Senior Swords, but as we progress we hope the panel will grow with other representatives, as well as developing a strategy around Junior and Senior integration.” Smits said.

Jon’s appointment is the first step – over the next couple of weeks RLN we will be announcing who will complete the Swords Coaching team with an Assistant Coach, Trainer and Manager soon to be appointed.

The Swords Campaign 2015 kicks off on May 30th with a slightly different approach, with Coach Jon Renes calling for a Women in League meeting for his players and Whanau.  He is calling a muster for his initial selection to attend a hui and a lunch with partners and family at Lindvart Park to coincide with the Swords 15s and 17s Trials.  “If we want to ensure the players get buy in, we need the wives and partners and their whanau to feel part of the process.” Renes said.

Jon Renes Previous experience includes:

  • Assistance trainer to Warriors in 2000
  • Trainer for Junior Kiwis 2002-3
  • Assist Trainer Residents 2012
  • Assist trainer NZRL 18s 2013
  • Trainer NZRL 16s 2015
  • Strength and conditioning coach NZ Academy of Sport – Northland region
  • Swords Trainer 2011 – 2014

Swords 13’s boys & Swords 13’s/15’S girls Official AppointmentsSwords 13’s boys & Swords 13’s/15’S girls Official Appointments


RLN are proud to announce the following appointments for our Regional Swords Teams to compete at the North Island and National Tournaments for 2018.

Swords 13s Boys:
Verne Wilson Coach
Maka Siafa Trainer
Xaviana Waerehu Manager

Swords 13s Girls:
John Komene Coach
Macca Tawha Trainer
Dana Phillips Manager

Swords 15s Girls:
Joe Rau Coach
(tbc) Trainer
Ruihi Turner Manager

Please join us in wishing them and their teams all the best for the coming season.