News,Northern Swords,Northern Swords Premiers Orcas defeat Swords but Freeman sees many positives

Orcas defeat Swords but Freeman sees many positives

Orcas defeat Swords but Freeman sees many positives post thumbnail image

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

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Tumoana Halkyard returns as a Warrior to take on NorthTec Adam XIIITumoana Halkyard returns as a Warrior to take on NorthTec Adam XIII

Tumoana Halkyard returns as a Warriors Development player to take on Benson Selwyn’s 19 man squad Adam Blair XIII at Hikurangi this weekend.  Halkyard, who twelve months ago played in the NorthTec Adam Blair XIII, is trying to cement a place as a Warrior.  He will start at Fullback, his preferred position.   Included in the NorthTec Adam Blair XIII squad are only seven players who have represented the Northern Swords at either 15s or 17s within the last twelve months.  Added to that, there are only two players who from last year’s NorthTec Adam Blair XIII who played the Warriors, so it is fair to say that the squad is fairly inexperienced and raw.

“This is a great Challenge and exactly why we set up this project up, we wanted to spread the net wider than just our normal league players.  We’ve got some really good athletes in this squad and I’m sure with Benson’s coaching and the help of Tony Iro on Sunday, that the boys will put a good performance in next weekend.” Alex Smits General Manager of RLN said.  “Last year our Swords 17s had a really good season and this was due to preparation of the NorthTec Adam Blair XIII.”

The 19 man squad, were taken through their paces on Sunday, by NZRL High Performance Manager and ex-Warriors Assistant Coach, Tony Iro, who helped educate the players on ruck defence and how to control the tackle.  “There are some good athletes here and I was really pleased by their enthusiasm and their hunger to improve, it will be a tough ask for them against season league players from the Warriors.  But if they can get into an arm wrestle with them, they could surprise a few people.”

Coach, Benson Selwyn, was excited about this week’s game.  “Sure they are bit inexperienced – sure we have had only the one training run to prepare, but mate, we’ve got some good boys here.  Look at guys like Steel Kake and Demrys Croft who will lead them from the front.  Haane Rudolph has got the experience at hooker to lead them around and Caleb Aekins is a smart footballer.  These guys did a great job for the Swords last year and I’m sure that they will give the others some direction.”

Click here to read our earlier story for Tumoana.

Building craft benches for kids – Jennian Homes (Northland)Building craft benches for kids – Jennian Homes (Northland)

Jennian Homes - Playcentre

Jennian Homes (Northland) managing director Brett Yakas loves seeing a building project finished, with top quality finishes and happy new owners enjoying the end product.

But for the next six weeks, those happy new owners will be hoards of under five-year-olds, as he gives away six hand-built outside craft benches, complete with mini-tools and kids-size tool belts, to six lucky daycare centres in the Whangarei District.

Built by his own team, Brett says the giveaway is something fun to do, to give back to the community.

“These benches have been built by our blokes for the kids in our community and we really look forward to giving them away, one a week, for the next six weeks,” he says.

To nominate your favourite daycare centre, simply head to the Jennian Homes Facebook page, and click on the link called Jennian Cares. Nominate your daycare centre and they are in to win. The first draw is on June 18, and then the following five Wednesdays after that.

“We support a number of charities and sports teams in Whangarei, and now it was our turn to support the littlies as well – and who knows, we might end up with a few future builders on our hands!” Brett says.

Jennian Homes (Northland) also support the Heart Foundation; Cystic Fibrosis Northland; Junior Rugby League; Parua Bay School; Suns Basketball; SPCA Whangarei; New Zealand Golf and Sport Northland.

Cross Code Support for Rugby League at the Best of the Best FestivalCross Code Support for Rugby League at the Best of the Best Festival

From left to right: Maddie Gillingham - Jetts Fitness Whangarei , Jarrod Calkin from Westpac, Alister Gates iSport Foundation, Alex Smits Rugby League Northland, Nga-Atawhainga Manukau - Jetts Fitness Whangarei

From left to right: Maddie Gillingham – Jetts Fitness Whangarei , Jarrod Calkin from Westpac, Alister Gates iSport Foundation, Alex Smits Rugby League Northland, Nga-Atawhainga Manukau – Jetts Fitness Whangarei

Currently the name Richie McCaw and Dan Carter would bring only visions of victory in Sundays World Cup final, however to Rugby League in Northland it brings a picture of generosity as the iSport Foundation a foundation set up by McCaw, Carter and Ali Williams was responsible for supplying Primary Schools with Rugby League balls yesterday at Rugby League Northlands best of the best festival.

Yesterday’s Best of the Best Rugby League festival was a culmination of a number of festivals played throughout Northland in 2015. In total over 40 Primary Schools (Years 4- 6 and 7-8) played Rugby league from Ruawai in Kaipara to Paparore in the Far North. All the festivals are run on the back of the Leadership through League Program that sees the Maori teaching philosophy of Tuakana Teina in action, with older siblings coaching younger siblings, as College students earn credits for coaching in Primary schools and organizing festivals for the schools to participate in.

It was a great spectacle to see so many young students with a high skill level displaying their wares. It was also fantastic to see so many young girls mixing it up with the boys and showing that they have got the goods to compete at a high level too, in fact, some of the female players were the stand out players of the tournament. Particular mention has to go to Sheridan Kera and Meadow Cook from Dargaville Intermediate.

All games were closely contested all the way through to the finals series. Several of these games in fact went into golden point, which goes to show the Far North students know how to close out games. All regions of the North had representation in the final series. It was very pleasing to see teams outside of Whangarei, pushing the city based schools.

2015 is the second year that Rugby League Northland has run the Best of the Best festivals. Played in two grades, Year 4- 6 and 7-8. Eventual winners in both grades BOTH successfully defended their 2014 titles. Year 4 – 6 Whau Valley. Year 7 – 8 Whangarei Intermediate!

Click Facebook link to see a range of photographs from the Festival

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Year 4-6
Championship Winners – Whau Valley
Championship Runners Up – Kaikohe West
Plate Winners – Ohaeawai
Plate Runners Up – Dargaville

Year 7-8
Championship Winners – Whangarei Intermediate School.
Championship Runners Up – Dargaville
Plate Winners – Okaihau
Plate Runners up – Tautoro