Northern Swords,Northern Swords Premiers Northern Swords – Premiers Awards

Northern Swords – Premiers Awards

Northern Swords – Premiers Awards post thumbnail image
Innocent Tuimavave

Innocent Tuimavave

Solomon Palu

Solomon Palu

Desmond Reynolds

Desmond Reynolds

Jarom Wihongi-Henare

Jarom Wihongi-Henare

The Premiers had their best ever season in the Pirtek NZRL National Premier Competition by finishing 6th.  They had their first win ever in the competition with a resounding 40 -22 win over the Central Vipers.  They following this up with good performances against the Counties Manukau Stingrays and by pushing the Wellington Orcas for 80 minutes live on Sky TV.

Back of the Year – Innocent Tuimavave: Innocent has been with the Swords for all four seasons in the National Competition.  Innocent has always been a stand out performer, even in a losing team and this year was no different.  Innocent was also Vice Captain of the squad.

Forward of the Year – Jarom Wihongi-Henare:  Jarom played big minutes in the 2013 season.  Unfortunately his season ended prematurely with a fractured jaw in the second to last game.  Jarom played at loose forward and was solid on defense and attack scoring three trys as well as a number of try assists.

Brotherhood Award – Desmond Reynolds:  Dez played every game and practically every minute in 2013.  Dez playing in the second row was the quiet achiever making solid yards on the go forward and topping the tackle count in most games.

Player of the Year – Solomone Palu: In his first year of League the Prop from the Northern Wairoa Bulls was huge for the Swords in 2013.  His monster frame dominated opposition teams.  For a big man Solomone has a huge workrate and played big minutes.  Solomone is still learning the game and it will be interesting to see his impact after another 12 months in league in 2014.

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Fun Family Day of Entertainment in Kaikohe – Swords v Counties ManukauFun Family Day of Entertainment in Kaikohe – Swords v Counties Manukau

Northern Advocate Advert - 5 Sep

The Northern Swords are team building for the future, with 15 players under the age of 22 in their squad they are looking to build the foundations of a successful team on and off the field.  With such a young team, Rugby League Northland are calling out to all Rugby League fans to come along and support the Swords Young Guns as they take on the Counties Manukau Stingrays this Saturday in Kaikohe.

As such Rugby League Northland is taking the Swords on the road to Kaikohe and have organised for a Junior North meets Junior South Mini/Mod Tournament as a curtain raiser to the main event.    Both events will take place on Central Rugby Ground to help create a festival atmosphere and it is FREE to attend.  Also adding the festive atmosphere will see the Junior Delegates running fundraising stalls to raise funds for the Northern Swords 15s and 17s to go to the NZRL Nationals.  So if you are coming along to the games bring along a few dollars to buy a feed and give a little donation.

“In the past the Swords have played to empty stadiums, for footy players there is nothing like playing in front of your Whanau and other supporters. By bringing the kids in, it will help bring in families as well and create a positive vibe.  The boys have a big challenge against one of the competition favourites, Counties Manukau Stingrays, but I’m sure with the League public’s support it will give them confidence” RLN General Manager Alex Smits said.

The Stingrays suffered a rare loss in round one against a resurgent Wai-Coa-Bays Stallions, while the Swords 38 – 4 loss to the Mid Central Vipers showed a lot of positive signs.  With an extra game under their belt, the Swords Young Guns and home ground advantage, the Swords will be looking to surprise the Stingrays.  For Eli George, Tamati Leach and Stevie Ray Haenga-Albert there will be extra motivation of playing at home in Kaikohe, all three had standout debuts last week.

Coach Jon Renes has the ability of adding Moerewa’s Anaru Thompson and Takahiwai’s experienced Ross McFarlane as wells as Muriwhenua’s Sonny Rupapera into this week’s mix. All three were unavailable last week due to work commitments.  However the final team will remain under wraps until after Thursday’s training.

Northern Swords – 15s AwardsNorthern Swords – 15s Awards

Kayleb Mathews

Kayleb Mathews

Steele Kake

Steele Kake

The Northern Swords 15s finished a disappointing 8th out 8 teams at the NZRL National 15s Tournament, held in Papakura between the 30th Sept and 4th Oct.  The team didn’t adapt that well to the daily grind of tournament after suffering a number of key injuries early in the week.

Brotherhood Award – Kayleb Mathews: Kayleb played at Prop for the Swords 15s.  In his first year of League, Kayleb epitomises the brotherhood –  always doing the best he can, even when injured.  A positive team member, who pushed himself to front up, throughout the 15 tournament.

Player of the Year – Steele Kake: The Man Mountain – 2nd Year Northern Swords player who matured so much he captained the 15s Swords at the 2013 Nationals. The team always felt confident when Steele was on the field and Steele would have made the 2013 Tournament Team if he did not get injured in the 3rd game at Nationals.

Northern Swords Teams travel to Rotorua to compete in the North Island District TournamentNorthern Swords Teams travel to Rotorua to compete in the North Island District Tournament

2018 saw 5 Northern Swords Teams travel to Rotorua to compete in the North Island District Tournament.

Swords 13s and 15s Girls
For the first time ever, Swords had two girls teams competing in the 13s and 15s competition. Both teams had minimal playing experience prior to the tournament, but this did not prevent them playing with commitment and passion. All credit to Joe, Jon, Ruihi, John, Macca and Dana for their tireless effort in bringing players together and training them in such a short time frame.
To all the girls who played – thank you so much. Our entire community is so proud of you. Being an “Original” is unique and takes courage and commitment to be part of something new.

The following girls made the North Island Districts Merit team:
13 Girls

  • Paea Uilou
  • Neveah Whittaker

15 Girls

  • Brooklyn Sergeant

Swords 17, 15 and 13 Boys
New Management Teams and players selected from the Far North to the Kaipara created a new buzz around the boys teams this year. The performance of the teams speak for themselves with the 13s winning the competition, 15s placing second and the 17s playing a quality of game that Manu, Bronson and Junie know will prepare them well for the Nationals in October.

17 Boys announced in the North Island Districts Merit team were:

  • Eruera Shelford
  • Terry-Jack Smart

Frank, Matt and Denise had a very skilful, powerful and fast 15s team that was only beaten by eventual tournament winners Bay of Plenty. Injuries and an extra game on the last day did not work in our favour for the finals, but the fighting spirit can not be under estimated in this team. Come October, I know 15s team will not be lacking preparation with the current Management Team behind them.

15 Boys announced in the North Island Districts Merit team were:

  • Hone Boyce
  • Lance McHugh

Vern, Maka and Xaviana – what an experience they created for the boys in this team. Trainings, Marae stays, team rules, fun court sessions combined with commitment and hard work saw success on and off the field. I can truly say, winning of the tournament happened months ago at the first team meeting when Vern and Maka told the boys being in the Northern Sword was an honour and that we play for our clubs, region and people – and to never forget this. The winning of the tournament belongs to the team, but the joy and pride it brought belongs to everyone in the Northland Rugby League Community!!

13 Boys announced in the North Island Districts Merit team were:

  • Isoua Hotere-Sosopo
  • Xavier Tenboom
  • Hare Pou-Walker
  • Tamihana Sergeant

To end, the behaviour and performance of all our teams on and off the field was impressive. They represented our region with so much heart, humility and focus that anyone from the region would proudly say “I am a Sword, I am from Northland”.