News World Cup coming to Whangarei

World Cup coming to Whangarei

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Here is a great chance for Whangarei fans to check out the Rugby League World Cup trophy this weekend.



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Warriors and Pioneers remain undefeated after Round 2Warriors and Pioneers remain undefeated after Round 2

After two rounds the Takihiwai Warriors and Hokianga Pioneers are the only undefeated teams.  Takahiwai defeated the Portland Panthers 28 – 18 in what was dubbed the match of the Round.

RLN Referee Chairman Grant Wharehoka refereed the match and was impressed by the pace and skill of the contest.  “It was a great game played in great spirits – I reckon that both teams will be there come finals time.” Wharehoka said.  “If this is a reflection of League in Northland then the game is looking very healthy.” He continued to say.

The Pioneers victory must be noted with their 46 – 16 thrashing of 2013 Minor Premiers the Moerewa Tigers.  Word around the sidelines has been saying that Hikurangi’s time is up, however they showed in the weekend, that they can never be written off with a 52 – 24 demolition of the Muriwhenua Kuaka.  Player/Coach Joe Rau said, “Muriwhenua played well today, they came prepared, but we played a good game today.”

The Northern Wairoa Bulls defeated a determined Otangarei Knights 48 – 22 with the Bulls showing a well balanced team from full back to prop.  They even played without the services of 2013 Swords Player of the Year Solomone Palu who was the World’s largest Water Boy.  In the other match of the round Horahora were too strong at home defeating the Kerikeri Makos 44 – 18.  The Makos join the Knights at the foot of the table as both teams have yet to win a game.

The Stags sit on top of the table on points difference to the Warriors due to the fact that they have had one extra match.

Results and Points Table

RuLA Tournament – Swords 13s – Mt MaunganuiRuLA Tournament – Swords 13s – Mt Maunganui

The Northern Swords 13s travelled down to Mt Maunganui, for their first experience as Swords players in a district tournament.  Coached by Takahiwai’s,  Rewi Kaihau, Managed by Whanau’s Hine Pireroa, with Otangarei’s John Radovanovich as their trainer and RLN Development Officer Joe Rau, offering support, 20 players descended on the Mount for four games over two days.

Travelling down in convoy style on Thursday, the boys had a great spirit and unknown expectations.  For many, this would be their first ever road trip and first time out of Tai Tokerau.

They won their first game in a nail biter 30 – 22 over Coastline.  Then they came crashing back down to earth with a 60 – 6 defeat by Auckland Maori.  It seems to be a Swords dilemma in all grades whenever we play Auckland, we lose with a large number of points!

The final day looked to be a daunting task as they had Bay of Plenty first up who had defeated Auckland Maori on the final day, however the boys dug deep to only lose 32 – 24 with a gutsy performance.  This meant that they would again face Coastline in battle for 3rd and 4th place only to have their hopes crushed on the final hooter.  The Swords we leading 34 – 28 for Coastline to finish a sublime back line movement with their centre slicing through desperate defence, to score 10 metres in the from the sideline, with the kicker nailing the conversion for Coastline to win 36 – 34.

RLN Development Officer Joe Rau said, “The Boys did awesome, all the teams at the Tournament had already played in a couple of other tournaments and these were our first games.  I’m really proud of the team and the way the team gelled as a unit and the way management and whanau bonded together to support the boys.”

True to Rugby League’s mantra of League being “more than just a game” the Swords were rewarded by earning prizes for, “Haka of the Tournament” and for the “Coaches Speech” – which all coaches had to partake on the first day, explaining why they entered the tournament and what they hoped to achieve.

Click here to see You Tube video of their departure haka.

Coach: Rewi Kaihau
Manager: Hine Pireroa
Trainer:  John Radovanovich
Technical Support:  Joe Rau

Elijah Cherrington James Latu James Power
Addalicent Haenga-Croft Tane Mackie Kiarni Ranui
Siosiua Fotu Toia Mehana-Puru Riki Shelford
Jordyn Hetaraka Xavier Mexted Manny Snooks
Lathan Hutchinson-Walters Toi Munroe Haki Thompson-Tautuhi
Kian Kake Richmond Patua Tangaroa Tuwhangai
Rangatira Keerako Tangaroa Pireroa

Preview of the RLN MultiKai Cooker – Finals SeriesPreview of the RLN MultiKai Cooker – Finals Series

Week One – Minor Semi-Finals – Sunday 27th July – Toll Stadium

Week one sees Takahiwai and Hikurangi earning the week off.

1pm:  Hokianga Pioneers v Northern Wairoa Bulls (3rd v 6th Place)

This will be an action packed match.  Their previous match was abandoned with the scores at 22 – 16 to the Pioneers while their Round 1 match was a closed fought affair with the Pioneers winning 24 – 22.  Both teams play a similar style of football which would best be described as Power football.  With big teams across the paddock they play on the back of power running and support.

The Pioneers should go into this match as favourites.  They have had a strong finish to the season and been consistently in the Top 4, while the Bulls have never really reached their potential in 2014.  They have shown glimpses of form but have been inconsistent.  However, finals football is a different scenario and the Bulls will test the Pioneers for 80 minutes and if things click on the day can provide a major upset!

3.00pm:  Otangarei Knights v Portland Panthers (4th v 5th Place)

This match should be epic.  Both the Panthers and the Knights have consistently been in the Top 6 this year.  The Knights have shown in 2014 that they are true Premiership contenders.  When they focus they can click and when they do, they are unstoppable, playing an expansive wide game of footy on the back of passionate running, combined with Herewini Edmonds’ and Linn Hunapo’s, slick passing game.

The Panthers play a very structured and controlled game.  They have a big mobile pack, led by the friendly giant Michael Gawn.  They have speed and power out wide in the form of Levi McQueen and Kelsin Harding which is fed by a devious Fats (Madisyn) Kaka at Dummy Half.  Portland have struggled throughout the year to lock out tight matches, however they would have gained confidence from last weekends Ville Salase Memorial 17 – 16 win over the Bulls.  In their previous meeting in 2014 the Knights were dominant winning 50 – 22.  They were scheduled to have met in the Rd 15 cancelled round.

Week Two – Major Semi-Finals – Saturday 2nd August – Toll Stadium

Hikurangi Stags v (winner Hokianga v Northern Wairoa) at 1:00pm

Takahiwai Warriors v (winner Otangarei v Portland) at 3:00pm

Week Three – Grand Finals – Saturday 9th August – Toll Stadium

Jennian Homes Juniors 15s Grand Finals at 12:00pm

Jennian Homes Juniors 18s Grand Finals at 1:30pm

Jennian Homes Juniors 15s Grand Finals at 3:00pm