The Northern Swords 13s travelled down to Mt Maunganui, for their first experience as Swords players in a district tournament. Coached by Takahiwai’s, Rewi Kaihau, Managed by Whanau’s Hine Pireroa, with Otangarei’s John Radovanovich as their trainer and RLN Development Officer Joe Rau, offering support, 20 players descended on the Mount for four games over two days.
Travelling down in convoy style on Thursday, the boys had a great spirit and unknown expectations. For many, this would be their first ever road trip and first time out of Tai Tokerau.
They won their first game in a nail biter 30 – 22 over Coastline. Then they came crashing back down to earth with a 60 – 6 defeat by Auckland Maori. It seems to be a Swords dilemma in all grades whenever we play Auckland, we lose with a large number of points!
The final day looked to be a daunting task as they had Bay of Plenty first up who had defeated Auckland Maori on the final day, however the boys dug deep to only lose 32 – 24 with a gutsy performance. This meant that they would again face Coastline in battle for 3rd and 4th place only to have their hopes crushed on the final hooter. The Swords we leading 34 – 28 for Coastline to finish a sublime back line movement with their centre slicing through desperate defence, to score 10 metres in the from the sideline, with the kicker nailing the conversion for Coastline to win 36 – 34.
RLN Development Officer Joe Rau said, “The Boys did awesome, all the teams at the Tournament had already played in a couple of other tournaments and these were our first games. I’m really proud of the team and the way the team gelled as a unit and the way management and whanau bonded together to support the boys.”
True to Rugby League’s mantra of League being “more than just a game” the Swords were rewarded by earning prizes for, “Haka of the Tournament” and for the “Coaches Speech” – which all coaches had to partake on the first day, explaining why they entered the tournament and what they hoped to achieve.
Click here to see You Tube video of their departure haka.
Coach: Rewi Kaihau
Manager: Hine Pireroa
Trainer: John Radovanovich
Technical Support: Joe Rau
|Elijah Cherrington||James Latu||James Power|
|Addalicent Haenga-Croft||Tane Mackie||Kiarni Ranui|
|Siosiua Fotu||Toia Mehana-Puru||Riki Shelford|
|Jordyn Hetaraka||Xavier Mexted||Manny Snooks|
|Lathan Hutchinson-Walters||Toi Munroe||Haki Thompson-Tautuhi|
|Kian Kake||Richmond Patua||Tangaroa Tuwhangai|
|Rangatira Keerako||Tangaroa Pireroa|