News Three Northlanders in Contention for NZRL Representation

Three Northlanders in Contention for NZRL Representation

Three Northlanders in Contention for NZRL Representation post thumbnail image


Taui Arona - Marist Brothers and Pompellier College

Taui Arona – Marist Brothers and Pompellier College

James Dean Fisher-Harris - Marist Brothers and Whangarei Boys High School

James Dean Fisher-Harris – Marist Brothers and Whangarei Boys High School

Hamish Pomare - Muriwhenua and Kaitaia College

Hamish Pomare – Muriwhenua and Kaitaia College

In a massive boost for Rugby League in Northland, three players are in contention for NZRL representation for the 16s and 18s.  James Dean Fisher-Harris from the Marist Brothers 18s and Whangarei Boys High School was named in the original squad, Hamish Pomare from the Muriwhenua 18s and Kaitaia College has been a shock inclusion in the 30 man squad after scintillating performances at last week’s NZSSSC Secondary School Rugby League Nationals. Hamish, who plays at either Centre, Fullback or Wing performed consistently throughout the week long tournament, but it was his performance in the final game against Aranui High from Christchurch, where he dominated and controlled the game, scoring two tries and setting up a number of others.

The third player in contention is Taui Arona, from Marist Brothers 18s and Pompellier College.  Taui has been named on standby for NZRL 16s squad that will take on the Queensland Academy 16s.

The final squad for the 18s will be confirmed on Thursday the 19th September, after this week’s NZRL National Competition 17s games.  All three Northland players will be playing this week when the Swords take on Waicoa Bay Colts in Huntly this Sunday.

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Co-Captains - Te Tuhi Tipene and Israel Tahere
Co-Captains – Te Tuhi Tipene and Israel Tahere

Round 1 – NZRL National Competition – Northern Swords v Central Vipers

Jon Renes Northern Sword’s young guns showed guts and determination in the opening match of the NZRL National Premiership as they drew the final forty minutes 4 all. The second half results demonstrating that Jon Renes’ young team can match it at National League level.

With 11 players under the age of 22 and 3 players aged 18, plus a total of 8 debutants, the team on paper is very inexperienced and in the first forty minutes they certainly showed their inexperience.   The Swords received the ball from kick off and looked like they were going to be competitive as they marched up field with power and control to complete their first set. The Vipers then had the football, the Swords looked to control the defense line which they did until the Vipers chanced their arm and ran the ball on the final tackle to the surprise of the Swords defense exposing a vulnerable left edge to score in the corner.

The Swords responded positively and put pressure on the Vipers try line, however the Vipers were well drilled and played a controlled game led around the paddock by a confident halves paring in Colin Hokinga and Haize Reweti continuing to expose the Swords left edge and marker defense.

“The first half was frustrating, for most of the half we looked in control and controlled the ruck, but when we got split the Vipers captalised and scored.” Coach Renes said. “We had a couple of missed opportunities to score early on which could have changed the flow of the game, but that’s footy and you need to convert your chances.”

After the break it looked as if the second stanza was going to show a repeat of the first as Vipers flying winger Jo Ratu crossed for Central soon after the restart, but those would be their final points as the Swords rallied for each other. They got into the arm wrestle and even dominated possession to draw the second half 4 – 4 with Co- Captain Te Tuhi Tipene scoring the Swords only try.

Tipene’s try came after sustained pressure and four disallowed or bombed try opportunities which shows that given time together this team should be confident about the future.

Coach Renes was elated from the second half performance, “The boys had a choice at half time to either roll over and give up, or guts it out and I’m pleased to say they chose the latter. Our objectives are about building this team for the future, we’re developing a good culture with the guys and if they choose that they want to improve, I’m confident that by the end of the season we will have ticked off a number of positive performances.”

Kelsin Harding, Kyle Hool and Riki Toby had standout games. Debutants Eli George, Kawana Marsden, Tamati Leach and Brodie Palmer had strong performances showing the potential of the team looks very good.

The Swords next challenge is against powerhouse Counties Manukau Stingrays which is played at Central Rugby Ground – Lindvart Park – Kaikohe on Saturday 5th September with a 2.00pm kick off.

The Stingrays suffered one of their few defeats on Sunday against 2014 finalists the Waicoa Bay Stallions 18 – 8. With Wellington also gaining a draw against the Akarana Falcons the 2015 NZRL National Premiership is a competition that is wide open!

Central Vipers 38 (Tyson Lewis 3, Rakai Tuheke 2, Jordan Kerr & Jo Ratu tries; Matthew Murtha 5 goals) Northern Swords 4 (Te Tuhi Tipene try); HT: 34-0

Vipers: 1-Tyson Lewis, 2-Matt Murtha, 3-Vai Kereti, 4-Jordan Kerr, 5-Josaia Ratu, 6-Collin Hokianga, 7-Haze Reweti, 8-Denzel Lepua, 9-Rakai Tuheke, 10-Gordy Karaitiana, 11-Tieimi Henare-Ransfield, 12-Josh Kerr, 13-William Schuster, 15-Kane Brodie Kelleher, 17-Hopa Edwards, 18-Richard Collins, 23-Kahura Cameron

Swords: 1-Jaydenn Bentley-Hape, 2-Hoani Tahana, 3 -Tamati Leach, 4 -TeTuhi Tipene, 5-Israel Tahere, 6-Kyle Hool , 7-Daniel Fulop, 8 -Kawana Marsden, 9- Stevie-Ray Haenga Croft, 10 -Eli George, 11 -Riki Toby, 12 -Herewini McGregor, 13-Kelsin Harding, 14 -Matiu Whatarau, 15 -Jordan Hool, 16 -Brodee Palmer, 17-Sharif Mangu

Click here to see Round 2’s Starting Line Up.

Swords team announced to Play WaikatoSwords team announced to Play Waikato

Northern Swords logo - small for websiteNorthern Swords v Waikato

Sunday 4th September, Toll Stadium

1.                       Jordan Katene (Otangarei)
2.                       Israel Tahere (Northern Wairoa Bulls)
3.                       Ross Mc Farlane (Takahiwai)
4.                       Te Tuhi Tipene (Moerewa)
5.                       Munokoa Maikuku (Moerewa)
6.                       Kyle Hool (Takahiwai)
7.                       Brodee Plamer (Moerewa)
8.                       Eli George (Moerewa)
9.                       Wilson Hona (Moerewa)
10.                     Logan Pocklington (Northern Wairoa Bulls)
11.                     Pedro Blake (Otangarei)
12.                     Haylin Rogers (Moerewa)
13.                     Vern Wilson (Otangarei

14.                     Daniel Fulop (Northern Wairoa Bulls)
15.                     Jordan Hool (Takahiwai)
16.                     Sam Henry (Otangarei)
17.                     Doug Makiri   (Otangarei) 18.  Moses Cooper (Hora Hora)

Coach:              Jon Renes

Asst Coach:     Jack Walker

Manager:         Edward irving

Trainer:            Dean Schruers

Physio:             Skye Renes

Strapper:         Caitlin Riedstra

Welcome Aaron Thomas to Rugby League NorthlandWelcome Aaron Thomas to Rugby League Northland

Aaron Thomas

Aaron Thomas

Aaron officially started at Rugby League Northland on 8th April 2015. Aaron has an impressive CV with a background in education and sport.  Previously, Aaron was the Deputy Principal at Opononi Area School, where he was also joint coach of the Kura Hokianga team that qualified for the Semi-Finals of the NorthTec Adam Blair Trophy. Aaron’s role as Development Manager will see him lead and manage the future of Rugby League Northland’s development programs.  This will include developing future plans, managing staff as well as hands of delivery of: All Schools Development Programs; All Junior Rugby League Competitions throughout Northland and RLN Junior Representative Programs – U14s – 15s and 17s Northern Swords Campaigns.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have someone of Aaron’s calibre on board with RLN.  Aaron has proven himself in the education arena and has a strong background in youth development.  I’m sure that he will be very successful in this role as he has a huge passion for the communities and youth of Northland.  His background as a PE Teacher will help drive our school development programs in Northland to another level ,” Alex Smits General Manager of RLN said.

A few words from Aaron Thomas – himself!

Ko Te Arawa te Waka
Ko Tongariro te Maunga
Ko Taupo te roto
Ko Taupo-nui-a-tia te rohe
Ko Waitahanui te Marae
Ko Ngati Ira te Hapu
Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa taku Iwi
Tihei Mauri Ora!

Kia ora my name is Aaron Thomas and I am pleased to be joining the team here at Rugby League Northland. I can’t wait to take up the wero of developing and working with youth in the far north. I have a background as teacher of physical education and then as a deputy principal with over 18 years experience. I have lived in the Hokianga for the last 9 years where I also have strong whakapapa links through my three children.

I have a passion for rugby league where I have played at representative level and off shore in the UK. I have also coached several youth sporting codes to both national and international titles. In my teaching career I have been fortunate to run several high level academies which have had some excellent outcomes. I believe firstly in a strong educational base for all our tamariki.

My goal is to help foster junior rugby league and build strong networks with Hapu and Iwi based programmes. I believe in putting the tamariki first and supporting them with strong leadership and positive role modelling in a tikanga based environment.

I would like to mihi to those who have done a lot of the foundation work and devoted many hours for our rangatahi, and on that note I would like to also let it be known that I believe there is a wealth of talent that needs to be harnessed and developed in the north. I look forward to meeting and forging some positive relationships in rugby league which is “More than a game”


Nga Mihi koutou katoa

Aaron Thomas