News,Northern Swords Northern Swords successful at Upper Zone tournament

Northern Swords successful at Upper Zone tournament

Northern Swords successful at Upper Zone tournament post thumbnail image

swords17s    swords15


Both the Northland 15’s and 17 year old rugby league teams have plenty to hold their heads ups about despite stumbling at the final hurdle at the North Island tournament in Rotorua recently.

For the first time in four years of participating in this tournament, not one, but both the Northern Swords youth teams made the finals only to fall short at the end of a taxing two day tournament. For John Radovanovich’s 17 year old team, this would have meant a clean sweep after being undefeated in the four previous matches. Whilst the 15 year olds had a loss, draw and two wins they still made it through to also experience a finals at tournament. Four players from the 15s were selected for the tournament team – Terry-Jack Smart, Nokisi Kaiarake, Richmond Patua and Manny Snooks. Five players made tournament team from the 17s – Thomas Anderson, Hoani Rogers-Brown, Wiremu Greig, Manessah Turner and Taine-Lee Shelford.

 17 year olds

Saturdays results; vs Waikato 26 – 12; vs Coastlines 28 – 20 win.

Sundays results : vs Bay of Plenty 36 – 10 win; vs Taranaki 32 -14 win.

Lost the Final 22 – 12 against Waikato

 15 year olds
Sundays results; vs Taranaki 16 – 10 win; vs Waikato 26 – 16 loss

Saturdays results; vs Bay of Plenty 22 -22; vs Coastlines 30 – 22 win

Lost the Final 42 – 14 against Bay of Plenty.

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NZRL hosted Women in League WorkshopNZRL hosted Women in League Workshop

I’m sure many of you have read plenty of news about the 2015 NRL Season Launch, followed by the awesome weekend that was the Dick Smith NRL 9s, but many of you may not be aware that on the same day, NZRL hosted a, Women in League workshop.

3 attendees from the Rugby League Northland community had the opportunity to attend this event – Sharon Bird, Juanita Hool and Toni Haldane.

Key note speakers were – Canterbury Bulldogs Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, Jennie Webster, newly appointed NSW Juniors Competitions Manager (prev. Operations Manager for Balmain Tigers and Yvonne Purtell, Operations Manager for Penrith Panthers Juniors.

Raelene spoke of her experiences to date with the Bulldogs, highlighting the challenges she has faced, not necessarily as a woman in a senior position as some would expect, but rather the challenges faced in such a diverse community. Her key message to us all, when looking to apply for a new position? ”Look at the things you CAN do and not what you CANNOT”.

In contrast, both Jennie and Yvonne cited examples where they have been extremely capable of delivering exceptional operational management, only to be held back through gender bias. Both intelligent and smart women, it was pleasing to hear that they are now recognised and valued members in Australian Junior Rugby League circles.

Jennie is now the Competitions Manager for all of New South Wales (having previously been the Operations Manager for the Balmain Tigers) and Yvonne is the Operations Manager for the Penrith Panthers Juniors. Both of these incredible women are now Directors on the New South Wales Junior Rugby League Board. Below is an interesting article about Jennie and Yvonne’s election to the Board.

Article – More females than males to new Junior Board

And the icing on the cake? We were all invited to join the NRL Season Launch, a most excellent event!

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NZRL have promised that there will be more such workshops coming up in the future, so watch this space. My advice, if you get an invitation? Jump at the chance to attend. It will be well worth it. The opportunity to meet your peers both nationally and from across the ditch, to gain an understanding of their challenges and their successes, is invaluable.

Northern Swords Coaching Team AnnouncedNorthern Swords Coaching Team Announced

Planning is well under way for the Northern Swords 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership Campaign. In the 3rd year of the competition Rugby League Northland General Manager Alex Smits is confident that the three teams competing will build on the improvement gained in the 2011 campaign.

The 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership Campaign is played between seven New Zealand Rugby League Zones at 15’s, 17’s and open age groups. The competition commences in late August with finals scheduled for late October.

“We have recruited three very great coaches and a strong management team to support them. We had a very constructive meeting last night where all three coaching teams have agreed to work together as one overall team. We now have three years experience managing teams at this level so we will be improving on last years performance,” Smits said.

From the 2011 campaign Joe Rau (Premier Coach) and Jim Larkin (15’s Coach) return to the post. At the 17’s age grade Rangi Selwyn (Head Coach for Kaikohe Lions Premiers) comes on board as the Head Coach with Michael Shearer (2011 Care Taker Coach) taking on the role as Trainer/Manager.

John Renes a nationally recognised trainer will continue his role as Head Trainer for the premier teams as well as overseeing the 15’s and 17’s. Rugby League Northland is pleased to bring in Edward Irving in the role of Premier Manager. Edward is the current operations manager at the Whangarei Golf Club so will bring a wealth of local contacts and experience to the team.

Rugby League at a national level is gaining momentum and this can be seen with the growth in interest of the 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership. The competition has gained Pirtek as a naming right sponsor.

Home Matches for Northern Swords Campaign for 2012:

August 26th, Northern Swords v Waicoa Bays Stallions, Toll Stadium, Whangarei September 2nd, Northern Swords v Akarana Falcons (Auckland), Arnold Rae Park, Kaitaia September 23rd, Northern Swords v Counties Manukau Stingrays, (15’s and 17’s Only), Lydnvart Park, Kaikohe September 24th, Northern Swords v Counties Manukau Stingrays (Premiers) Live on Sky, Mt Smart #1.

For further information, please contact: Alex Smits, General Manager, RUGBY LEAGUE NORTHLAND 021 2736975, email:

Northern Swords Representative appointments announcedNorthern Swords Representative appointments announced

Rugby League Northland is pleased to announce the following appointments for the Northern Swords Representative teams.

Coach: Te Tuhi Tipene
Asst Coach/Trainer: Murray Smart
Manager: Hine Pireroa

Coach: John Radovanovich
Manager: Marty Brown

Coach: Jon Renes
Asst Coach: Jack Walker
Manager: Ed Irving

Congratulations on your appointments and we are looking forward to competitive performances from the best of our Northland players.