Hawke's Bay rugby 2018



  • I only just now discovered that Joe Penitito is playing in France since October. He's with Club Sportif Beaunois, which competes in Pool 2 of Fédérale 2.

    I read his interview on their website, and reading between the lines, he's there because he didn't get selected for the Magpies. So it looks like he won't be back to compete for a Magpies spot and that's a real shame. I rate the guy.

    Joseph Penitito : de l'hémisphère sud à la Côte de Beaune



  • @stargazer said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    Club Sportif Beaunois

    That is a somewhat obscure name. Any guess as to what sort of standard they could be rated against in NZ terms eg Mitre 10 Development sides, Heartland Champ etc? Still do not see what the former coach saw in that import guy that plays 7s for Samoa ahead of him.



  • @higgins I always thought that Fédérale 1 is close to Heartland level, so Fédérale 2 should be below that. Maybe @mooshld can tell us?

    Btw I think they brought Selesele in at a point that Penitito was injured. Wasn't he injured for about the whole 2016 NPC season? Or was that the year before? He should have been picked in 2017 though, no doubt about that!



  • @nepia said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    @Number-10 Why have Marist become a Super Club just recently? There was always a decent competition between the top 4 or so teams. Does the competition setup issues you highlight contribute to this?

    I don't think anyone has a problem with clubs importing players, as long as they're quality.

    The Renton case is a weird one though, the Canes and the Magpies carried him while he was injured and then he's gone to Canterbury. that seems odd. Was there a falling out? Has he retired due to his injuries and just going down there for education?

    I'm not sure I'm onboard with the schools stuff. HB only (really) has two schools to choose from and generally there's decent talent coming through one or the other. Hell, Manawatu were competitive (not top drawer, but accounted well fro themselves) with a team almost exclusively from PNBS (and the odd Fielding player) for a few years - TBF they had Rennie as coach and not Philpott. Uni must contribute to the drop out rate as well, but that is no different than normal though.

    You sound like you've had some interactions with the principals? 😉

    Napier OB Marist have had a very settled team in the last couple of years. In 2017 and 2016 combined they only lost three frontline players from the year before: David Benson (in 2017) and Fergus McCool and Dan Walker (both in 2016).

    Also they must have a good coach in Craig Gowler who has been their premier coach since 2014. He is getting results and a contributory factor to that must be he also relates well to the players. By contrast, Clive were beaten finalists in last year's Maddison Trophy and have sacked their coach Blair Cross because the players didn't want him.

    Don't know anything about Hugh Renton's decision to go to Canterbury. He obviously was off-contract with both Hurricanes and Hawke's Bay to do so. Apparently Magpies lock Tom Parsons, who went to Manawatu in 2015, is returning.

    The schools in HB that produce the most rugby talent are Napier BHS (roll 1200), Hastings BHS (roll 750), Lindisfarne College (roll 400) and St Johns College (roll 350). It is not a coincidence that they are also boys-only schools.

    All four now participate in North Island secondary school rugby competitions - but to do so requires (extra special) funding for their first XV's, which relates back to the earlier point I made in my previous post. School principals are happy to take help, whether it be financial, admin, coaching of their teams by clubs/provincial unions but there is no guarantee of anything in return to the clubs/provincial unions who might want to help.

    The relationship is one-sided. First XV players that leave can go to another club. First XV players can go to other unions. Provincial RU academies don't want bulk players, literally have no room for them in in-take numbers or financially; they only want the best players anyway.

    Taradale RC used to have such a relationship with Taradale HS, but I'm not certain they do now.



  • @stargazer said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    @higgins I always thought that Fédérale 1 is close to Heartland level, so Fédérale 2 should be below that. Maybe @mooshld can tell us?

    Btw I think they brought Selesele in at a point that Penitito was injured. Wasn't he injured for about the whole 2016 NPC season? Or was that the year before? He should have been picked in 2017 though, no doubt about that!

    Only the top 2 levels of Rugby in France are fully professional Fed 2 is Amateur club rugby. But there are over a 100 teams and they play in their local pools before progressing to a national comp. Anyway its normally amateur but you sometimes hear about semi pro setups.



  • @mooshld Cheers! Heartland is an amateur competition, too. The question is more about the level/quality of rugby though.



  • @stargazer
    It would be around senior club level in NZ maybe a bit lower.



  • @mooshld Geez, then Penitito is indeed taking a big gamble. He's a Mitre 10 Cup level player with the ambition to play professionally and leaves everything behind to play at that level in France, just hoping to be picked up by a professional club. Because we had an incompetent coach who didn't give him a contract, despite Penitito showing lots of promise for several years (but out with a serious injury for some time). I really hope he succeeds.



  • @stargazer His best hope is to get scouted. Because the chances of his team being twice promoted are fuck all.



  • Wing/fullback JJ Taulagi

    Queensland Reds 2014-2016
    Sunwolves 2017
    Samoa 1 test, 2017

    is in Hawke's Bay and will play for Tech OB.



  • @number-10 So basically he couldn't get a SR contract for 2018 and is now looking for a NZ province that wants him for NPC? Or is the situation in NZ club rugby so dire that Ozich and co. had to go looking overseas?

    At least he's Auckland born and not another Aussie. I hope he didn't get a Magpies (dev) contract yet, but has to show via club rugby that he's worth a spot in the squad. At least, from what I remember, he isn't completely rubbish, although I can still clearly remember that dirty hit on Shaun Stevenson that earned him a red card and 5 weeks suspension.



  • Always good to have depth, eh?

    Magpies used 37 players in last year's Mitre 10 Cup due to an horrendous run of injuries. A number of those 37 were clearly not up to it.



  • @number-10 It's good to have depth if these non-local players are indeed good enough, yes. That hasn't always been the case though. At least Taulagi has SR experience, so that's a plus. The proof will be in the pudding, I guess.

    I'm fine with players from outside the region if they either have sufficiently proven their worth in NPC/SR, or if they have earned a spot by playing club rugby and proven to be better than the locals. They also shouldn't block the development of local young talent coming out of school, if these youngsters decide to stay in the province.



  • @number-10 said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    Wing/fullback JJ Taulagi

    Queensland Reds 2014-2016
    Sunwolves 2017
    Samoa 1 test, 2017

    is in Hawke's Bay and will play for Tech OB.

    😃

    I am hoping he will be good enough to get into the Texans 1st XV



  • Renee Holmes (right photo in the tweet) is a young and very talented player, just out of Gisborne GHS, who played for the Hawke's Bay Tuis last year. Hopefully, she will stay for this year's Farah Palmer Cup and not be stolen by one of the other provinces or moving on to another sport. The Tuis have been woeful due to the lack of support from the union over the years (leading to good players going elsewhere - other provinces, league, netball etc), but the HBRU seems to have made some changes last year, so hopefully that will pay off. They definitely can use a talent like Holmes to lift the team.



  • So indeed, Taulagi has signed with the Magpies. Confirmation also of Tom Parsons returning. An outside back and a lock.



  • And no Buckman and West ...



  • @stargazer No mention of Sam Ulufonua,maybe hes pulled the pin on coming to the bay.



  • Caught up with Mark Ozick and Josh Syms at Waitemata Park in Auckland yesterday,they were watching the Waka Nathan challenge cup which is to anyone outside of Auckland a preseason rally day were all the Auckland Club teams are on show,
    A couple of players they were looking at were Siosiua (Josh) Kaifa a very rugged open side flanker who has appeared on a handful of times for Auckland and Sebastian Visinia younger brother of Lolagi Visinia,Sebastian is a very tall rangy midfielder.
    Talking to both coaches they are looking for more gainline physicality which was a real issue for them in 2017.
    Sam Ulufonua the Lock from ponsonby in Auckland has been signed but only on a PD contract,I stand to be corrected but it’s something similar to player development contract for younger players.
    Gone from 2017 are both Vaega brothers and Hugh Renton ironically the younger of the Vaega brothers was running around for Gramnar Tech and I believe Cardiff is running around for Karaka in the Counties Manukau region.

    Both coaches seem to have a very good senergy with each other.
    Auckland can never seem to select the right talent but man alive there is some talented rugby players running around at many of there clubs, I guess it’s all about having the ability to select that talent.
    Even Southland have signed the 3 Costa brothers from Eden Rugby in Auckland,

    Kaifa while he looked a bit off the pace fitness wise,had very good size,is very physical,good over the ball and very accurate on the tackle will be a very good acquisition to the Bay.



  • @steven-harris said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    Caught up with Mark Ozick and Josh Syms at Waitemata Park in Auckland yesterday,they were watching the Waka Nathan challenge cup which is to anyone outside of Auckland a preseason rally day were all the Auckland Club teams are on show,
    A couple of players they were looking at were Siosiua (Josh) Kaifa a very rugged open side flanker who has appeared on a handful of times for Auckland and Sebastian Visinia younger brother of Lolagi Visinia,Sebastian is a very tall rangy midfielder.
    Talking to both coaches they are looking for more gainline physicality which was a real issue for them in 2017.
    Sam Ulufonua the Lock from ponsonby in Auckland has been signed but only on a PD contract,I stand to be corrected but it’s something similar to player development contract for younger players.
    Gone from 2017 are both Vaega brothers and Hugh Renton ironically the younger of the Vaega brothers was running around for Gramnar Tech and I believe Cardiff is running around for Karaka in the Counties Manukau region.

    Both coaches seem to have a very good senergy with each other.
    Auckland can never seem to select the right talent but man alive there is some talented rugby players running around at many of there clubs, I guess it’s all about having the ability to select that talent.
    Even Southland have signed the 3 Costa brothers from Eden Rugby in Auckland,

    Kaifa while he looked a bit off the pace fitness wise,had very good size,is very physical,good over the ball and very accurate on the tackle will be a very good acquisition to the Bay.

    Thanks for the updates.



  • @steven-harris I'm sorry for the late response. Thank you for this info!

    Ozich has done some great work with Hastings BHS, but NPC is another kettle of fish. I really hope they know what they're doing when selecting new players. Buckman is going to be a huge loss and hard to replace. There are also a few other big holes to fill. While Falcon can easily replace West, I'm not sure whether McClutchie is ready to take Falcon's place on the pine. But at the same time, you don't want them to recruit a 10 from outside the region if that player going to block or delay McClutchie's development. Same with fullback and Toala, loosie and Flanders etc etc. But there's no doubt we need more and better depth than we had last year. If the players mentioned in your post are the right players to solve our depth problems, then they're more than welcome.

    Oh, and a year without major injuries would be nice too, but it seems we're already starting with a couple of injuries. Cridge, Farrell, possibly Lowe (still haven't seen an update from the Canes about that foot injury from last Saturday). Sam McNicol's continuing concussion problems are also a worry. Not sure whether we'll ever see Edmonds back on the field.



  • JJ Taulagi won't be playing for Tech OB this Saturday - he's been called into the Chiefs as injury cover.



  • Great attitude! The lad is keen.



  • FFS - last time I listen to the Tech OB captain who told me he wouldn't be playing this Saturday.

    Wait until I see him on Monday.



  • You can't trust Texans. They even stole Sam Giddens!



  • According to the HB Today. Ryan Tongia is playing club rugby in the Bay. Probably worth a contract if he's available.



  • @wingerhb Tongia is shocking. There’s a reason why Hawkes bay let him go in the first place and why he was playing for Southland



  • @footy01 said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    @wingerhb Tongia is shocking. There’s a reason why Hawkes bay let him go in the first place and why he was playing for Southland

    Maybe but Hawkes bay have got quite a lot of spots to fill after last years debacle.Good thing is at least guys like him,Lewis Marshall,Willie McGoon etc are all playing club rugby so Ozich and co has time to assess his options before deciding if we need to bring players in at the last minute. Looks like Taradale have picked up 2 or 3 fringe Wellington forwards too.



  • Is Gillies Kaka still playing in Japan? His wife is contracted with the Black Ferns 7s, so I'm quietly hoping he'll be back in the Bay, but not sure.



  • @stargazer said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    Is Gillies Kaka still playing in Japan? His wife is contracted with the Black Ferns 7s, so I'm quietly hoping he'll be back in the Bay, but not sure.

    He is still on the Red Dolphins player profile page from earlier this year

    http://www.hino.co.jp/rugby/member/player/



  • Article about (& interview with) Sam Ulufonua:



  • Work at McLean Park has started. From Mason Emerson's instagram:

    0_1523319867452_4fa0b546-9962-4571-b7dc-ad87b9633e6b-image.png0_1523320151439_1ea150a0-e955-4902-91d6-809757de9c97-image.png



  • @stargazer Are they rasing the Turf a metre or so like they did at Waikato Stadium?



  • @hooroo This is the work to be done:

    Work began today to rip up the current turf and replace it with a hybrid grass in time for spring rugby season.
    
    The high-tech hybrid turf is being grown in Pukekohe on a specialist backing. Artificial fibres are embedded in the backing to create additional strength. Plastic sheeting ensures that root growth is carefully managed, and the grass able to be harvested following its growth cycle.
    
    "We are replacing all the drainage system. We are also putting in an irrigation system and also sensors as well so they will be able to monitor soil moisture and it will be able to control how much water we put on and when we put that water on it on. So also it will be  a lot more efficient," 
    
    The same turf is used at Eden Park and the Melbourne Cricket Ground 
    

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/international-interest-high-troubled-mclean-park-turf-begins-makeover



  • @stargazer Cheers! I forgot about the missed cricket season due to the outfield.

    Good progressive work by them lot!



  • The first Magpies wider training squad has been named:

    • Lewis Marshall, Pasqualle Dunn, Tom Parsons, Travis Taylor (all Central),
    • Josh Eden-Whaitiri, Josh Kaifa, Sasa Tofilau, Lucas Goodin, Tianua Poto (all Clive),
    • Devan Flanders, Ryan Tongia, Sam Ulufanoa, Willie McGoon (all Havelock North),
    • Aleki Vuki, Ben Hamelink, Danny Toala, Folau Fakatava, Jason Long, Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe, Mason Emerson, Ausage Fomai, Timo Vaiusu, Jacob Devery (all HRS),
    • Fa'alemiga Selesele, Frank Tupuola, John Ika (all MAC),
    • Chris Johnston, Ellery Wilson, Hannon Brighouse, Johnny Luano, Matt Gardner, Michael Buckley, Mitch Drew, Ricky Hayes, Shae Tucker, Jake Nelson-Murray, Zac Donaldson, Sia Paiese (all NOBM),
    • Will Tremain (OBU Wellington),
    • Pouri Rakete-Stones, Hayden Hann (both Pirates),
    • Kianu Kereru-Symes, Lincoln McClutchie, Mason Kean (all Tamatea),
    • Joe Apikotoa, Lester Maulolo, Lui Luamanu (all Taradale),
    • JJ Tualagi, Mark Braidwood, Sebastian Visinia, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Tim Farrell (all Napier Technical).

    This squad will prepare for a preseason game against Tasman on Wednesday, 2 May in Wellington.

    The squad doesn't include loosie Tony Lamborn who is on international duty with the United States team, and Samoa Commonwealth Games Sevens representatives Tom Iosefo and Neria Fomai. It also doesn't include the Bay's 10 Super Rugby players - Ash Dixon, Ben May, Michael Allardice, Gareth Evans, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Jonah Lowe, Brad Weber, Tiaan Falcon, Israel Dagg and Brodie Retallick.
    
    After the Tasman game a second wider training group will be named to prepare for the June 4 fixture against Wairarapa Bush in Featherston. The Magpies will also play the Manawatu Evergreens on July 4 and Ozich is hoping for a fixture against Auckland on July 29 but no player involved with the Maddison Trophy final the previous day will be expected to play in this match.
    
    The Magpies' final pre-season game will be against Waikato in Taupo on August 4 and their Mitre 10 Cup campaign will begin with an away fixture against Southland on Sunday, August 19.
    

    Great news is that Trent Boswell-Wakefield is back and will play his first club rugby game of the season on Saturday.
    The article also mentions a few more Aucklanders. It doesn't say whether they have signed contracts:

    Versatile loosie Josh Kaifa, 25, who played Mitre 10 Cup rugby for Auckland last year will arrive in the Bay on Monday to link up with K9 Petfoods Clive. Kaifa was the 2015 Auckland B team player of the year.
    
    Another Clive-bound newcomer is centre Sasa Tofilau who will turn out for the riversiders against WIT Napier Old Boys Marist at Farndon Park on Saturday. Magpies head coach Mark Ozich said Tofilau and Kaifa are the last two newcomers to arrive in the Bay.
    

    Siosiua (Josh) Kaifa - profile from Auckland Rugby page:

    Club: Manukau Rovers
    Position: Loose forward
    Height: 1.88m
    Weight: 104kg
    DOB: July 21, 1992
    Caps: 7
    Points: 0

    This is what I found about Sasa Tofilau on the website of Edinburgh Rugby:
    http://www.edinburghrugby.org/edinburgh-rugby/player/sasa-tofilau



  • @stargazer

    A lot of people rate Kaifa highly. However in the matches I saw him play, he fell off too many tackles.

    Some good prospects coming through in Auckland would have pushed him down the rankings. Still a good signing though



  • @duluth It's unclear to me whether they've already signed him or not, and on what kind of contract. Maybe @Number-10 knows more. There are quite a few loosies competing for a spot in the squad (including off-contract Magpies Tony Lamborn, Fa'alemiga Selesele and former Magpie Trent Boswell-Wakefield), and we've only lost Hugh Renton as far as I know.

    We also have Gareth Evans and Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, and young lads such as Devan Flanders (he may be on academy/development contracts though) and Will Tremain (not sure whether he has been signed).

    Tackling was a huge problem for the Magpies the last few seasons. The last thing we need is another loosie who can't tackle. We'll see what happens!



  • Tualagi has a Magpies contract, I have been advised that all the other imports have Provincial Union Development contracts which are only worth $1500. The PUD's are standard across the Mitre Cup provinces (part of the NZR-NZRPA collective) - essentially it is just relocation money. The clubs they are assigned to (by HBRU) help out with accomodation, jobs, as part of the deal.



  • @stargazer said in Hawke's Bay rugby 2018:

    I only just now discovered that Joe Penitito is playing in France since October. He's with Club Sportif Beaunois, which competes in Pool 2 of Fédérale 2.

    I read his interview on their website, and reading between the lines, he's there because he didn't get selected for the Magpies. So it looks like he won't be back to compete for a Magpies spot and that's a real shame. I rate the guy.

    Joseph Penitito : de l'hémisphère sud à la Côte de Beaune

    Joe's risky move to that amateur club in France appears to have paid off! Via twitter, I just found out that he has signed with French Pro D2 club Biarritz.

    Biarritz has reached the play-offs for promotion to the Top 14 and will play Grenoble this Saturday for a spot in the semi-finals.


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