News,Northern Swords Swords 15s and 17s Upper Central Tournament (Rotorua)

Swords 15s and 17s Upper Central Tournament (Rotorua)

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Coaches Joe Rau (15s) and Benson Selwyn (17s) were both very pleased with the performance of their squads in the Upper Central Tournament.  They only had one week to organise their players from the NZRL Performance Camp, which was no small task.  The tournament was used to help the coaches identify not only players for the final squad, but also areas they will need to work on to help start to build a culture around the Swords teams.

Although results didn’t go entirely the Swords way, both coaches were please with the outcomes.  Steele Kake was named the “Forward of the Tournament” for the 15s.  2013 will be Steele’s second National Campaign at the 15s level.  He is definitely one for the scouts to watch out for.  Piri Croft 17s Prop, was named in the Tournament Team for the 17s. Piri continues his good form for the Swords from 2012.

A big thank you to Sash Stosic (GM – Upper Central Zone) and the Bay of Plenty Rugby League for organising a well run tournament.  Congratulations to Bay of Plenty 15s and Waikato 17s for winning their respective grades.

Hope to see you next year?

Results and Tournament Team 15s

Results and Tournament Team 17s

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I have dedicated much of my life to the game I love Rugby League.  I grew up in Wellington, but was a late starter to League as I spent most of my youth playing soccer.

I represented both the Hutt Valley Dolphins and the Wellington Dukes in the old Lion Red Cup before getting the “call up” to go play League in the South of France.

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On my return from Europe, I worked in sales and recruitment, but the call of rugby league wouldn’t go away!

Three years ago I joined forces with Wellington Rugby League as the Community Development Manager.  In three years we managed to develop rugby league at the community level increasing the number of school teams from 4 to 77, which in turn took overall player registrations from under 1900 to over 4500.

I am committed to Northland League – I have sold up in Wellington and moved lock stock and barrel (including my now 8 month pregnant wife Sarah) up to Northland.

I love a challenge and have already seen the passion and skill of the people in northland!  

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Water is the best drink - flyerElijah Taylor is one of Sports’ true gentlemen, he is always willing to give back to the grassroots and do what he can to help promote Rugby League and the community.  One example is the work he does surrounding the promotion of Water is the Best drink in partnership with the Northland DHB and in a world where many sports stars can charge a premium for this kind of service Elijah does it for the pure good of the game and the good of Northland.

In an exclusive interview with RLN surrounding the upcoming game Elijah was clearly gutted about missing out on the opportunity of playing a test in his beloved Northland.  “I don’t normally work towards games and take each week as it comes, but when it was announced back in April that there was a game at Toll Stadium I put a big ring around the calendar entry.”

“Then I ruptured my ACL in a bizarre way, it didn’t happen in a tackle or anything it just happened, that was what was most disappointing about it – but hey that’s football.  I missed out on the Panthers semi-finals run and now I’m going to miss out on the Four Nations as well.  I was looking forward to playing in Northland, it has always been my dream to play on the big stage in Northland.”

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

In true testament to his character, he goes on to say that he was happy in that his absence has given the chance to Jason Taumalolo and Tohu Harris who played awesome in the weekend and that it’s going to be hard to make his way back into the test team!  Elijah has had a full knee reconstruction and is due back to play on Feb 15th meaning he will also miss the Auckland 9s. Elijah is not sure if he will be coming to Whangarei for the game.  “I’m not the kind of player who can watch footy when I can’t be involved, its too frustrating – especially when the game means so much to me.  I have a cousins wedding on Saturday – so that’s probably where I will be.”

When asked about influence in his league career Elijah quickly mentions the influence of Jim Larkin, “Jim was great, nothing was ever too hard for him, he was so enthusiastic and really cared about helping the youth come through.  I always had issues getting to trainings and games and Jim always went out of his way to help.  It’s really great to see that Jim is still working in the game.”

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We wish Elijah all the best for his recovery and hope to see Elijah and the World cup in Whangarei in 2017