Comings and goings

  • Okay, the club season has started and its becoming a little more clear as to who is around from last year and who has gone.
    By my calculations 24 of the 37 contracted players from last year are playing club rugby locally or are in the Chiefs or Chiefs Development teams.

    Those that I know have left are :-

    Joe Tupe. Sadly it seems, after being overlooked for Super rugby, he has taken a contract in Japan.

    Te Aihe Toma. Playing in Europe.

    Dan Hollinshead. Playing in Europe

    Joe Royal. Playing in Auckland

    James O’Reilly. Down in Wellington on the fringe of the Hurricanes team.

    Callum Retallick. Playing for the Rebels in Melbourne.

    The only “ arrivals “ that I know of are :-

    Tom Franklin. Lock currently playing for the Highlanders.

    Richard Judd. Halfback who played a bit for Counties last year.

    Liam Steel. Utility back from Auckland who is in the Chiefs Development I think.

    Kane Le’aupepe. Two metre plus lock who played a bit for Wellington last year. Currently playing for Te Puke Sports.

    Matt Garland. Utility back who played a bit for Hawkes Bay last year. Currently playing for Wakarewarewa.

    I know of other “newbies” who are playing club rugby and there are the usual academy players who will hopefully step up at some stage.

    So, some questions :-

    Anyone know of any other comings or goings ?

    Anyone know what Lelia Masaga is up to ? I hear he has finished his 2 year Japan contract and has been put on stand by for the Chiefs.

    Does anyone know where Pingi Tala’aptaga, Matty Axtens, Teddy Stanaway, Hugh Blake, Joe Webber, Regan Ware or Te Rangi Fraser are ?

  • @Snollygoster

    Joe Webber and Teddy Stanaway were both injured at the time of the last World Rugby Sevens Tournament, but - when fit - both will be considered for the All Blacks 7s. I'm certain that Webber, and also Regan Ware, has a 7s contract.

    Edited to add that Regan Ware was also named in the Chiefs Development squad a month ago.

  • regan ware would love to come back to the bay, te rangi has gone to perth I think, pingi is playing for Narbonne (sp) in france at the mo

  • From memory Hollinshead's European contract has him back in time for the NPC.

  • @Donsteppa That's correct. It was for injury cover only, so short-term.

  • Thanks guys. Whats pretty apparent is that there hasn't been a mass exodus from last year. What is unclear however is who is contracted and who isn't and who is/isn't available for this NPC.

    I wonder who won't make it again ? Retallick, Tipuna, Mewett and Haimona are all 30 or older so you could argue they are getting past it. Having said that, some of them had a great season last year so its arguable whether their replacements would be any better. I'm sure they would have had a performance review from last year for all players in the team so some will be chopped.

    Also worth mentioning is that the same coaches are returning. The pressure is on them to improve. Problems in the backline, inconsistent performances and failure to close out close games plagued the team last year so lets hope they will look for improvement there.

    Looking forward to the season...

  • club rugby write up from yesterday game greerton marist vs whaka , and GM has a old Waikato and nz 7s player

  • Yeah, I saw that write up also Cpt Kumera. This is the guy they talked about ...

  • James Lay who was in the Auckland team last year seems to be another recruit. Plays prop and is a Brother of Jordan who was contracted last year but I think never played. Presently playing for Waka.

  • Whatever recruiting has taken, is taking place - we need a decent five eighth. Haimona and Hollinghead didn't cut it last year. Good enough as back up, but we need some direction around the park.

  • This guy has come up from Wellington this year and is playing First five for Te Puke. Is a pretty handy kicker and has been given "Player of the day" for his last two games for them.

  • @Snollygoster Good post - thanks for that, he looks handy. How did he go against T Sports on the weekend? I believe young Trask had a great game for Sports...

  • @Snollygoster said in Comings and goings:

    This guy has come up from Wellington this year and is playing First five for Te Puke. Is a pretty handy kicker and has been given "Player of the day" for his last two games for them.

    Good line in that story

    "I stepped past Chase Tiatia, which isn't hard"

  • @GagaBoy I actually went to the Te Puke Sports - Tauranga Sports game on Saturday. Robertson-Weepu played mainly at fullback (I think he usually plays at first five) and he played well. How he would play at NPC level is anyone's guess and if he would be better than the incombents is also up for debate. My guess is he played in Clayton McMillan's team when he coached down there and hence moved up here after chatting to Clayton. Trask looked quite capable for an 18-19 year old but it would be a big call to put him in the Bay team after just a handful of senior games. He's still a "light weight" at this level but hopefully will make the jump up in the future. Quality first fives seem to be thin on the ground around New Zealand at the moment but I'm hoping that Hollinshead gets another go plus one or two newbies....but I doubt that will happen. The coaches need to take some blame in my opinion for our stuttering back line. On a side note Ajay Mua (playing at No.8 for Tauranga) impressed. He's a rugged hard working little bugger.

  • Yes, I watched a replay of that game on Vimeo - Trask looked very accomplished. The issue about a jump up to NPC is whether he'll jump to another province if not given the opportunity. I believe we already lost a number of Rotorua Boys to Southland straight out of school. Robertson-Weepu did look good also.

    Great that we have a couple of options available to us. I'm not that keen on Hollinshead - he has had 3 seasons already and we haven't had a backline that fires. Having said that, I won't be surprised if he doesn't get another crack given the previous time investment.

    Ajay Mua has a future. Great footwork - bit of work on required for ball retention into contact. I hope he gets a shot at NPC this year.

  • @GagaBoy I pretty much agree with all you say. One of my pet gripes with the BOPRU is the lack of development of our young talent. Considering we are one of the bigger provinces with regard player numbers and also because of our Maori population, we should perform better nationally. Canterbury and Wellington, for instance seem to be a production line for young talent. Hopefully some in our present academy will step up.

    Loose forwards and five eights loom as the interesting selections this year.

  • Thought I would add this. Its a "Barbarians team" selected to play a NZ University team. Its a real mixture of young and old from within club rugby.....a mini Steamers trial...sort of.

    WASPS Team:

    1. Hayden Anderson (Te Puke Sports)
    2. Joe Key (Greerton Marist)
    3. James Lay (Whakarewarewa)
    4. Baden Wardlaw (Rotoiti)
    5. Tim Bond (Te Puke Sports)
    6. Henry Stowers (Arataki)
    7. Mone Funaki (Paroa)
    8. Chulainn Mabbett-Stowerby (Te Puke Sports)
    9. Jacob Abel (Tauranga Sports)
    10. Kelly Haimona (Whakarewarewa)
    11. Matt Garland (Whakarewarewa)
    12. Brad Armstrong (Te Puke Sports)
    13. Joe Webber (Te Puke Sports)
    14. Luke Masirewa (Te Puke Sports)
    15. Josh Robertson-Weepu (Te Puke Sports)

    16. Angus MacDonald (Te Puna)
    17. Jessie Williams (Tauranga Sports)
    18. Josh Davey (Mount Maunganui Sports)
    19. Lars Morrice (Te Puke Sports)
    20. Kayden Budd (Te Puna)
    21. Jordy Stone (Te Puna)
    22. Reece MacDonald (Arataki)
    23. Josh Honey (Tauranga Sports)

  • Sorry, its a "Wasps" team and not a Barbarians team. Plenty of interest though..

    Hayden Anderson was in the Chiefs Development last year playing as a loose forward. James Lay, Matt Garland Luke Masirewa and Robertson-Weepu are all recent imports. Tim Bond played for BOP a couple of years back before going to Japan. Henry Stowers is a 2016 Steamer as is Kelly Haimona and Joe Webber. Webber was in the NZ Sevens team and I don't think has yet pulled on a BOP jersey. Plenty of players from the Academy and other young talent.

  • Looks like a lot of Te Puke players in the run on side... Looks like a heap of young and imported players getting their opportunity to impress - with Bond & Haimona thrown in for experience. It would be great if someone gives a summary report on the game - for those of us who are unable to make it.

  • Not sure whether you are aware of this, but if Google translate serves me well and translates the Japan Top League website correctly, then Joe Tupe and Dan Hollinshead have both signed with Coca-Cola Red Sparks. Regarding Dan Hollinshead, I found confirmation in a French article.

  • Hayden Anderson represented Thames Valley and made the NZ Heartland team in 2015, having played for Australian Under 20 previous to that when in Perth.

    He is NZ born though. Am surprised to see him now as front rower.

  • BOP Wasps 38...NZ University 21

  • @Snollygoster This was actually one of the better "preseason/trial" games I've seen with plenty of endeavour between two evenly matched teams. Most of these early games with a team coddled together are pretty scrappy and meaningless but this was entertaining.

    Bop lost the first half 21-14 but won the second half 24-0. Haimona and Webber never played (replaced by McDonald and Foketi) and, to be honest, some of the other replacements I never recognised .

    Man of the Match, Luke Masirewa, must surely have earned a Bay jersey with his 3 tries. His speed and ability to keep the ball alive was impessive. Special mention must also go to Wardlaw who had a huge workrate and Mabbett-Stowerby who backed up his impressive club form. Others never did their chances any harm either.

    So.... a pass mark..

  • Thanks for the update. Good to hear Masirewa went well - we are going to need some X factor this year. Good win for a fringe BOP lineup - historically NZ University are a strong outfit.

  • Just putting the feelers out there as a Taniwha supporter,have heard some oil that Northland are looking to sign Tim Bond,a lock that played for the steamers in 2016,was also in the Sunwolves last season.

    Must say from a Taniwha point of view,I'm a bit underwhelmed,but I suppose like anything in life,you give a person a chance.

    Just want to know from steamers supporters how he rates..?

  • Tim Bond is a good honest lock. No frills but works very hard and is aggressive. I am surprised he hasn't re-signed with BOP. I assume that he may have taken Retallick's spot (assuming he isn't returning from the Rebels), but then I remembered we have signed Franklin - although he has had a heavy load with the Landers and looked a bit buggered in the Maori game.

    You could do a lot worse than Bond to be honest, but strange you don't have the depth up there. No big Fijian locks up there like the wingers...

  • @GagaBoy we have 2 locks who may gone for the season through injury, one was injured in a Blues pre-season.

  • Yep, Gagaboy pretty much summed him up. From memory he never played for us much after getting concussed early on in the 2016 season. His move isn't at all surprising given that he is well down the pecking order in BOP locks. After the three existing locks (Retallick, Mewett and Callander) theres Franklin from the Highlanders, possibly The Canadian Ardron who apparently plays a bit at lock, Le'aupepe from Te Puke Sports and even maybe Wardlaw from Rotoiti who would be ahead of him so a move north isn't surprising. Seems strange to think that we're just over a month away from preseason games.

  • Okay, work is quiet and I must be bored !

    Its probably only a couple of weeks till the naming of the Steamers team and maybe a month till preseason games begin so its time to guess who has/hasn’t made the cut. I’m pretty sure the team will be pretty much known in rugby circles but nothing official via the press or BOPRU so I haven’t a clue. With today’s professional era and High Performance groups and Academies operating I’m sure things have been arranged which is unlike the old days when the team naming was a big deal.

    Anyway, as mentioned earlier, a large proportion of last years team are still “about” but I’m in the dark as to who is contracted or available. For want of a better way of doing it lets go through them with each position.

    HOOKERS:- Last year there was Harris, O’Reilly, Polwart, Royal and Siataga. Five hookers seemed an overkill at the time but given injuries and Harris being away with the AB’s that number was possibly justified. Royal is apparently playing in Auckland and I’m not sure where O’Reily is so a space is maybe there for someone else.

    PROPS:- Last year there was Fisihoi, Lay, Ross, Sakalia, Tala’apilaga and Thwaites. Tala’apilaga is the only one gone apparently and his place seems to have been taken by James Lay (Brother of Jordan)

    LOCKS:-Last year there was Callendar, Mewett and Rettalick. Rettalick is the only one who I am uncertain of as the other two are still playing locally. Sooner or latter he will have to hang up his boots but he seems to still be performing creditably so I wouldn’t discount him returning. I’m guessing Le'aupepe might be signed as his heir apparent. As we know Franklin has been signed but his huge workload in Super rugby must be taking a toll..Only having three specialist locks is a surprise but the No.6 usually provides cover.

    LOOSE FORWARDS:-Last year we had Parette, Axtens, Cane, Blake, Karpik, Stowers, Smith-Wano and Tupe. Well Tupe is gone and I have no idea what Blake is up to so spaces available here. Ardon (the Canadian) has been signed but I am unsure what season he begins playing for us. Mua or possibly even Mabbet-Stowerby could be long shot for selection.

    HALF BACKS:- Last year we had Campbell, Toma and Tipuna. I understood Toma was playing in Europe but I see he is turning out for Te Puna in club rugby recently so who knows! Richard Judd has been signed from Counties so expect changes.

    FIRST FIVES:- Last year we had Hollinshead and Haimona. Haimona is the only one left. Hollinshead’s replacement is the most eagerly awaited selection as the first five seems to be taking the blame for our misfiring backs. The young Trask (Son of ex BOP Bruce Trask) seems to be talked about as the next in line and I haven’t watched enough local rugby to know who else is putting their hand up.

    SECOND FIVE/CENTRE:- Last year we had Hepetema, Foketi, Nicolas and Stanaway. They are all still about but Liam Steel has been signed so someone will be dropped I assume. Garland from Hawkes Bay is also on the scene.

    WINGS:- Last year we had Webber, Ioane and Ware who, as far as I am aware, are still on the scene. It will be interesting if they give Masarewa a chance.

    FULL BACKS:- Last year we had Fraser, Te Aute and Tiatia. Fraser has gone and my pick is for Robertson-Wepu to replace him who could also cover for first five.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I am just as much in the dark as you guys. I have no doubt there will be new signings and changes to personal yet to be announced.

    So now its your turn......What changes need to be made? Who should be cut from last year? Anyone know who else has been performing at club level? Have I missed any players?

  • Good summary there. When Hollinshead left for France, he was only going to be away until the end of the NH season but I don't know if that has changed. It's really hard to find any information online ....

  • @KiwiPie said in Comings and goings:

    Good summary there. When Hollinshead left for France, he was only going to be away until the end of the NH season but I don't know if that has changed. It's really hard to find any information online ....

    Hollinshead has signed with Coca-Cola Red Sparks in Japan.

    I posted this earlier in this same thread! 😜


    This recent photo was from the high performance squad members having a day out in Rotorua. Firstly who is the guy in the middle ? Mike Delany ? I think the other two are Liam Steel and Hugh Blake (who it seems will be back for another season.)

  • @Stargazer Can you post it again in a month or so as I may have forgotten by then!

  • @Snollygoster Does look a lot like Mike Delany. He's just turned 35, wonder if he is going to play a season or 2 as a squad player?

  • @KiwiPie said in Comings and goings:

    @Snollygoster Does look a lot like Mike Delany. He's just turned 35, wonder if he is going to play a season or 2 as a squad player?

    The Mafia Facebook page has the answer (via the Union) 🙂 He's back!

  • I will reserve any enthusiasm till I see how he plays. At 35 he won't be the same player he was when he played here last but (as has been mentioned many times) his experience will count. You have to wonder who else may be dragged back...Bourke is still only 33 and Latts is a baby at 31 !!

    The team seems to be taking shape with only a handful of spots uncertain.

  • @Snollygoster said in Comings and goings:

    I will reserve any enthusiasm till I see how he plays. At 35 he won't be the same player he was when he played here last but (as has been mentioned many times) his experience will count. You have to wonder who else may be dragged back...Bourke is still only 33 and Latts is a baby at 31 !!

    The team seems to be taking shape with only a handful of spots uncertain.

    I'm working on an assumption (having not tracked his offshore career) that his goalkicking is still top drawer and will be a big step up on the last 2 - 3 seasons - even if the legs around the field are a bit older. Shame that Hollinshead isn't still around for the experience & mentoring.

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