Rugby League Northland, in partnership with the Muriwhenua Kuaka, launched the Kaitaia Mini Mod League for Years 5 and 6. The afterschool competition ran for four weeks and was played at Arnold Rae Park on Wednesday afternoons.
Three schools entered – TKKMO Pukemiro, Pompallier and Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, with a fourth team, the Muriwhenua All Stars, making up the numbers.
The Mini Mod Leagues was used as a pilot project for 2014. The plan for 2014 is to have an after school competition played on Wednesday’s in Term 2. Rugby League Northland have received expresssions of interest from another five Primary Schools for 2014, which will see 8 schools in total play. The additional five schools are – Kaitaia, Paparore, Ahipara, Oturu and Mangonui Primary Schools.
The Mini Mod League Competition will start on 16th April with an inter-schools festival.
Photo courtesy of Robert O’Hara – Impact Photography
This Saturday will see the best Secondary School players from all over Northland take on the best 18s side in the country, the NZ Warriors 18s.
The Adam Blair Trophy has this year been the most successful with 15 High Schools participating in a 13 team strong competition. A week before we approach the Semi-Finals, our best players, who make up the Adam Blair XIII, will face the might of New Zealand’s best at Kamo High School at 1pm.
Rugby League Northland are privileged to have a strong relationship with the Warriors as well as several other NRL clubs and are really working on developing pathways for junior elite players. Development Manager Aaron Thomas is delighted with the interest the NRL are taking specifically in the North.
“We have worked hard in 2015 to build our junior program and it’s starting to pay dividends. We had several players last year take up junior contracts with NRL clubs and we have several more stimulating interest. It’s a massive lift for what we are trying to do here. We are in most primary schools and high schools in the north lifting our profile and promoting our code. We had over 3000 students participate in Rugby League last year.”
“It’s really exciting this year, as we are really committed to Professional Development. This is not only for our elite players, but also for our coaches and referees. This is integral for our on-going success. The Warriors, who are coached by Duane Mann, ex Kiwi and Warrior player, are very lucky to have someone of his calibre taking an interest in our young talent.”
Rugby League Northland is hoping for a good crowd on Saturday, which will also see a North v South High School Girls 9s game. The game will be televised and also available through YouTube by Channel North who have done an outstanding job covering the Adam Blair XIII games.