News,Northern Swords,Northern Swords Premiers Pirtek NZRL National Premiership – Swords put out an SOS to Northland League Public

Pirtek NZRL National Premiership – Swords put out an SOS to Northland League Public

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The Northern Swords are calling out to all of Northland League public to get in behind the Swords to help them rescue their season this weekend at Toll Stadium after they were put to the sword by the Central Vipers in Whanganui on Sunday.  The Central Vipers continued their turnaround season in the Pirtek NZRL National Premiership, with a resounding 74-16 win over Northern Swords. After travelling through the 2013 competition without a win, the Hawke’s Bay/Taranaki/Manawatu/Whanganui combination have now registered two wins this year, having accounted for Wellington two weeks ago.

By contrast, the Swords now have one hand on the wooden spoon, still winless through four rounds. The equivalent fixture 12 months ago provided the Vipers with the best result of their schedule – a 40-22 loss – but they were quickly on top this time, running in seven tries to lead 36-4 at halftime.

Coach Mark Freeman, had very little positive things to say about the team’s performance, “I thought after last week’s run against the Auckland Development squad that we had prepared well going into the game, there were some who tried and others who shouldn’t have put a jersey on today.  We’re not going to give up though, we will address what it takes to play Rugby League and tackle this week and take on the next challenge.”

The Northern Swords have Wai-Coa-Bay this Sunday at Toll Stadium.  The Stallions are also coming off a big loss as they were thumped by Counties Manukau 68 – 0.  “In tough times Whanau support Whanau, these are tough times for the Swords, we need our Northland League public to get down to Toll this weekend and give them support from the sidelines.  Like all things in life, when things are tough, knowing you have your Whanau backing you, can be a tremendous moral boost!” said Alex Smits – RLN GM.

The Swords 15s and 17s will also have their final hit out against the Wai-Coa-Bay outfit before they head to Rotorua for their National Campaign.  The 15s and 17s were scheduled to play on Toll Stadium 11.45 and 1:00pm respectively – however, Toll has suffered some serious damage over the last couple weeks with the amount of rain we have had, added to the Rugby and League fixtures that have been played.  Toll is having some remedial work done, so it is hoped that it will recover.  If it is unavailable the 15s and 17s fixtures will be moved to Old Boys.


GATES WILL OPEN AT 11:30am if U15s are playing at Toll Stadium, otherwise 2:15pm for Premiers.

11.45 – U15s – Northern Swords v Wai-Coa-Bay Colts (Old Boys or Toll Stadium TBC)
1.00pm – U17s – Northern Swords v Wai-Coa-Bay Colts (Old Boys or Toll Stadium TBC)
2.30pm – Premiers Northern Swords v Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions – Toll Stadium

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Not Just a Dress RehearsalNot Just a Dress Rehearsal

This weekend’s Major Semi-Final at Toll Stadium is not just a dress rehearsal for everyone involved.  For two teams, it will be the last time they put their club colours on and represent their club in 2014.  Many players can play their entire career without ever winning a Championship or ever playing in a Grand Final.   Grand Finals are the pinnacle of ALL sport, it’s why we play, it’s why we join a team.

Game One – Hikurangi Stags v Hokianga Pioneers – Kick Off 1pm

The Stags qualified for the Major Semi Finals by finishing 2nd in the Premiership and as a result had the first week off in finals football.  The Stags, who are in contention to win their fourth Premiership in a row, would have enjoyed the week off, as it will give player/coach Joe Rau, an extra chance of making the field after he dislocated his shoulder four weeks ago.  He stands at a 30% chance of playing and if he does play it will probably see him working solely as a ball distributor, which could provide the Pioneers an obvious target.

Should Rau not play, they have the experienced Moses Cooper and Te Tuhi Tipene, to take control in the halves.  The key for the Stags will be if they have the go forward to match the big Pioneers pack – the Stags’ strength lies in their disciplined game plan, which sees them play expansive football, feeding their youthful speed out wide in the form of Joachim and Zabdiel Edmonds and Wayne Iripa.

The Pioneers reached the Major Semi’s by finishing 3rd in the Premiership and defeating the Northern Wairoa Bulls 40 – 20 in week one of the Play Offs.  The Pioneers dominated the Bulls on the back of a powerful pack led by Elliot Pomare and Te Waironga Tohu.  However, the key to their success was Captain, Richard Koroi, playing at Stand Off.  Koroi who is built more like a 2nd Row was devastating against the Bulls.  His strength lies with his ability to run with the ball ,as well as a slick passing game, this allows him to have the defense line caught in between two minds.  His combination with Wiremu Snowden-Te Iringa at centre was lethal last week with Wiremu scoring a hat-trick of tries.

This will be the third year in a row that the Pioneers have reached this stage of the competition, this could be the year that they go the extra step and make the final, however they will need to bring their A game and Koroi will need to live up to his reputation.  There is nothing separating the two teams in 2014.  The Stags won their Rd 4 encounter 36 – 26, while the Pioneers won their Rd 13 match 28 – 22.  This game will be a CRACKER!

Game Two – Takahiwai Warriors v Otangarei Knights – Kick Off 3pm

The Warriors have been the form team of 2014, winning the Minor Premiership finishing 5 points clear of 2nd place with a massive 524 points differential. It would be an understatement to say that they dominated the competition.  The biggest challenge preventing the Warriors from winning their first premiership since 2008 will be complacency.  However, they have two experienced coaches in the form of Shane Hool and Mark Freeman who will be ensuring the Warriors will be prepared for the Knights this week.

The Warriors are a workman-like football team.  They play on the back of Captain, Edward Wilson, and loose forward, Adam Donaldson’s relentless go forward.  They are backed up by a solid pack that rolls their sleeves up with a no-nonsense go forward and quick play of the balls.

Completing the picture for the Warriors, is their little general, Joel Freeman, at Half Back, with a slick passing game to feed the dynamic cousins, Rikki and Charles Tarau and fullback, Hori Tuhoro.

The Knights have been 2014 big improvers – consistently strong, 2014 has been a good season, having progressed from 2013 where they got knocked out by the Pioneers in the minor semis in 2013.  The Knights’ progress from the Minor Semi-Finals, winning a last minute thriller against the Portland Panthers 24 – 16.

Captain, Herewini Edmonds, is their key play maker.  When he fires, the team follows.  They have an ability to launch an attack from anywhere on the paddock with pace and strength out wide.  Zion Rota at Fullback is freakishly strong, while Jordan Katene provides able back up to Edmonds in the halves.

The Knights lack a bit of size up front, but more than make up for this in attitude. Prop, Jordan Holtz is their quiet achiever with DJ Rangi and Sua Sosopo providing strong support.

The Knights will miss instrumental hooker in Linn Hunapo, who was stretchered off in last week’s semi final. The pleasing news is that Hunapo will make a full recovery.

Going by form you would imagine Takahiwai to be too strong for the Knights – in previous encounters the Warriors won 40 -16 in Rd 1 and 32 – 20 in Rd 10.  However the Knights should not be underestimated!

Grand Finals – August 9th Toll Stadium

Grand Finals 15s – Kick Off 12noon
Grand Finals 18s – Kick Off 1:30pm
Grand Finals Premiers – Kick Off 3:00pm

Northern Swords 15s and 17s Squad – NZRL Got a Trade Got It Made National TournamentNorthern Swords 15s and 17s Squad – NZRL Got a Trade Got It Made National Tournament


Northern Swords 15s

Northern Swords 17s

Dylan BROWN Wiremu GREIG
Rehutai DUKE Ngataiharuru MANUKAU – TOGIAVALU
Joseph NGERE Ranapiri TAU
Terry-Jack SMART Kalani WAA
Quintin TAINUI Te Haerenga Mai WALKER

Club League and the 2014 Season WinnersClub League and the 2014 Season Winners

Club League was again vibrant. The 10 team MuliKai Cooker Premiership saw an climatic finish to the senior season with Otangarei Knights going on a three match winning streak to firstly defeat the Portland Panthers, then shock minor Premiers the Takahiwai Warriors, then come from a 26 – 12 deficit with less than 20 minutes to play to stop Hikurangi from winning their fourth straight victory!

The Bluegoose every Sunday was a great place to be, with over 500 kids playing every week.  The 13s, 15s and 18s all had good numbers and you can really see the improvement in the quality of the game.  The Muriwhenua Rubgy League Club hosted a four school, after school mini mod competition.

Next year will see some changes in junior league with the grades changing to evens to see 6s, 8s, 10s, 12s, 14s , 16s and 18s grades.  With the 16s and 18s moving to play Saturday football.  We are also exploring the opportunity of moving Mini Mod League in the Mid North to be a mid-week after school competition with a mix of school and club teams competing.

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