James Dean Fisher Harris celebrated being named in the NZRL 18s Training Squad, with an awe inspiring display, to assist the Northern Swords 17s gain their first ever victory over the Southern Scorpions, on Sunday, at Toll Stadium. James lead an awesome comeback for the Swords as they scored 22 unanswered second half points to win 28 – 22. It was the Sword 17s second victory in the competition in three previous years. Going into half time with at 22 – 6 deficit, the Swords looked to be outclassed by a slick Southern Scorpions team that was on fire. However Coach Benson Selwyn’s “friendly words” at half time saw a second half display that was just sublime! On the back of James’ barnstorming runs – Captain Daniel Fulop dazzled the opposition with crisp passes, a pinpoint kicking game and smart running. Fulop’s performance was capped off with a personal points haul of 18 with two tries and 5 conversions.
After being named in the NZRL 18’s squad to play against the Australian Schoolboys, James capped his week with a two try haul. The training squad will prepare for a two-test series that will commence on the 30th September at Toll Stadium.
The Northern Swords are Northland’s representative identity for Rugby League, competing in New Zealand Rugby League’s National Provincial Premiership against seven other Zones across New Zealand. Teams compete at 15s, 17s and Premier, age grades. The 17s and Premiers travel and play around NZ, with the 15s attending a week long residential competition based in Papakura starting on September 30th.
The National Provincial Premiership is a direct pathway to NZRL representation as well as the NRL. From the 2012 campaign, 5 Northland Players recently attended NZRL 16 and 18 trials in Rotorua. In 2012, Kadince Christensen, from Whangarei Boys High School, captained the NZRL 16s and now has a contract with the Parramatta Eels.