Photo Gallery – Takahiwai Warriors v Otangarei KnightsPhoto Gallery – Takahiwai Warriors v Otangarei Knights
It will come down to this weekend’s matches to determine who will take the fourth spot on the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership table recently vacated by Hokianga Pioneers. The Northern Wairoa Bulls and Portland Panthers currently sit two points adrift of each other, Portland ahead by two points, and both teams are playing two of the top teams this weekend.
If the Northern Wairoa Bulls can pull off a convincing win against their opposition, Otangarei Knights and Moerewa topple Portland, points differential will come into play. Both the Bulls and Portland have a guaranteed two points with Portland with the Bye and the Bulls scheduled to play against the withdrawn Hokianga Pioneers. However, if the Bulls lose, they will certainly be out of finals contention and can start planning for a 2017 challenge. The Bulls are going to have to throw everything they have at Otangarei in the hopes of upsetting them on their home ground.
The top three placings are cemented with Takahiwai sitting on 22 points one ahead of Moerewa on 21, whilst Otangarei have accumulated 17 points. Portland, who are currently fourth have 12 points. This sets up the final round, where the Minor Premiership will definitely be decided when the top of the table clash will see Takahiwai take on Moerewa in what could be the precursor to the Grand Final.
Upcoming fixtures in the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership:
Round 13 – 2nd July
Otangarei Knight v NW Bulls at Fishbone Park – 2.30pm
Moerewa Tigers v Portland Panthers at Simpson Park – 2.30pm
Round 14 – 9th July
Horahora Broncos v Otangarei knights at Horahora RFC – 2.30pm
Takahiwai Warriors v Moerewa Tigers at Takahiwai RLC – 2.30pm
It’s been a longer process than we had imagined, but we finally have the RLN Scott Electrical Premiership and the RLN Championship Finals games now fully loaded on You Tube. We’ve had to split the games into first and second halves – the file sizes wouldn’t allow us to do it any other way. We hope you enjoy watching the games!
The RLN Scott Electrical Premiership Grand Final was played in spectacular fashion with the match winning try scored in double extra time. The large crowd, were in awe, as the game produced touches of class usually reserved at professional level. Whangarei was buzzing all week with everybody predicating a close affair between the Hikurangi Stags and the Takahiwai Warriors. The conditions were perfect at Toll Stadium as the light drizzle disappeared.
The game was a bruising encounter as both packs tested each other out. As the nerves settled, the Stags drew first blood with a nice try to Tyson Wihongi. The Warriors not to be outclassed, responded with two unanswered converted tries. Takahiwai were building good momentum until captain courageous Joe Rau crossed the line to take the halftime score to 12-10 to Takahiwai.
The second half was a game of chess with both team teams making valuable meters off the back of some solid forward play. Veteran Takahiwai forward, Nick Schuster and Hikurangi’s Steven Rau were locking horns and enforcing their presence defensively.
Penrith Panther’s new signing Caleb Aekins, showed his class in the number 6 with some silky skills and individual brilliance to cross the line. Hori Tuhoro was peppered with bombs all day and had some excellent kick returns that had the crowd on their feet.
It looked like the Warriors were going to have a stag do when Warrior’s player Joel Freeman put his side in front 16-14. With minutes remaining Hikurangi had a brain melt and gave away a penalty in front of the sticks.
Captain Joe Rau milked the time limit ensuring his successful kick would lead to extra time. Both teams were tested with fitness and defence as they charged up the paddock looking to set up for the drop goal.
Hikurangi got two, close, unsuccessful attempts, which had the crowd holding their breath. Takahiwai managed one fumbled attempt. After 2 stanzas with a minute remaining, Stag forward Eric Abraham crossed the line to win the game to a deafening roar from their supporters. Final score – Hikurangi Stags 20 v Takahiwai Warriors 16.
Click here to view full set of photographs from the game
Best Player Takahiwai Warriors – Hori Tuhoro – presented by Napo Henare, Refining NZ
Best Player Hikurangi Stags – Caleb Aekins – presented by Napo Henare, Refining NZ
Man of the Match – Eric Abraham
Winning Medal – Her Honour the Mayor, Sheryl Mai
Winning Trophy Presentation – John Cornwall, Joel Taylor – Scott Electrical
In the curtain raiser the championship Cup was won by the Otaua Valleys over the Pawarenga Broncos 28-12. It was an exciting game with the youthful brilliance of Otaua proving to be the catalyst. Final score Otaua Valleys 28 v Pawarenga Broncos 12. Otaua have now won promotion into the 2016 RLN Scott Electrical Premiership. Tamati Leach was named Man of the Match.
Click here to view a full set of photographs from the game.