Northern Swords,Northern Swords 17s Northern Swords 17s – A Chance to Make the NZRL National Finals

Northern Swords 17s – A Chance to Make the NZRL National Finals

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Tumoana Halkyard This one 5 This one 4The Northern Swords 17s have one more game to go, to put Northland on the map.  In a record breaking season, the Swords currently share the top of the table with the Akarana Falcons and the Counties Manukau Stingrays – who all have four wins and one loss in the competition.

The Benson Selwyn coached 17s, bounced back from last week’s heavy loss to the Stingrays with a tense 28 – 20 win, over a classy Wellington Orcas team, at Hikurangi Rugby Ground on Saturday 5th October.   Both teams needed the victory to have any chance of making the finals.  The Orcas came out with fire in their belly, bringing a physical contest to Hikurangi.  Their forward pack were rugged on attack and defence.  On the back of the Orcas forwards dominance, a slick back line threaten every time they moved the ball.

The Orcas were first to score, with Kiwi 16s halfback slicing through the defence line.  Rugged Swords loose forward, JD Fisher Harris hit back almost immediately and he punched his way through the Orcas D line from 15 metres out.  The Orcas looked to be dominating at with a 16 – 10 lead as both teams went for half time oranges.

Coach Benson Selwyn then gave the Swords a “think piece” and challenged them to do better, “Are you happy being the big guns ONLY in Northland, or do you want to challenge on a National Stage”  Selwyn put to his charges.   The National stage was the choice his team took as they outscored the Orcas by 18 – 4 in a tense and exciting second half.  Haane Rudolph grabbed a double with two identical cheeky darts from dummy half.  While JD Fisher Harris repeated his first half effort in the exact format as he crashed over.  Pana Matiu sealed the victory on the back of a Swords smooth back line with less than two minutes on the clock to win 28 – 20 in a great free flowing game of footy!

For the Swords 17s, the season to date has been a huge success.  Before 2013 in the previous three years of the competitions the Swords17s had only won one game.  So to be one game away from the finals is major success story.  The Swords 17s play against the Akarana Falcons on Sunday 13th October at Cornwall Park at 1.00pm.  With the winner securing a place in the final on Monday 20th October – live on SKY TV.

NORTHERN SWORD 17s – Full Time Score 28 Tries: K RIPIKOI, I JOB, H RUDOLPH (2), J FISHER-HARRIS (2); Goals: D FULOP; Half Time Score: 10

WELLINGTON 17s – Full Time Score 20 Tries: I SOPOAGA, L CUMMINGS, J KATOA, P FINE; Goals: D MELVIN (2); Half Time Score: 16

Current Ladder - 17s










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Orcas defeat Swords but Freeman sees many positivesOrcas defeat Swords but Freeman sees many positives

At a cold wet and soggy Petone Rec in Wellington, the Orcas Bernard Gregorius’ hat-trick of tries has guided Wellington Orcas to a 38 – 14 win over the Northern Swords in the Pirtek NZRL National Premiership on Saturday.

Wellington jumped out to a perfect start, with two tries in the first 15 minutes and two more before the break for a 22-4 advantage.  However the Swords showed that they could mix with the Orcas, scoring three tries in the second half to Joel Freeman, Sam Henry and Jordan Hool.  Coach, Mark Freeman, was buoyed by the performance, “The conditions were terrible and after the bus trip and flight it took us 40 minutes to realise we were playing National League.  We came into the first game knowing that we were slightly under prepared, but we know what we have to work on moving forward.”

With 8 debutants in the squad, Freeman was positive by some of their individual performances, heralding Outside Backs, Ross McFarlane and Tumoana Halkyard, as having standout performances.  Skipper Joel Freeman was also a stand out, while young Daniel Fulop at Stand Off didn’t look out of place after making the step up from the 2013 Swords 17s.

“We hope to have Takahiwai’s powerhouse loose forward Adam Donaldson and inspirational fullback Hori Tuhoro, as well as Knights player of the RLN Grand Final, Jordan Katene, available this week which will increase competition for places, which is healthy leading into this week’s game at Toll Stadium v Counties Manukau.” Freeman said.

Next Sunday August 31st at Toll Stadium

  • Northern Swords Premiers v Counties Manukau Stingrays 2.30pm
  • 13s Grand Final Otangarei Knights  v Portland Panthers 1.15pm
  • 13s Plate Final – Manaia View v Horahora Broncos 12:00pm