Magpies - 2018 Mitre 10 Cup

  • The draw has been released. Magpies 2018 matches:

    Date Kick-off Match Venue City
    Sunday 19 August 4.35pm Southland v Hawke's Bay Rugby Park Invercargill
    Friday 24 August 5.45pm Otago v Hawke's Bay Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin
    Sunday 2 September 2.05pm Hawke's Bay v Counties Manukau McLean Park Napier
    Saturday 8 September 4.35pm Hawke's Bay v BOP McLean Park Napier
    Thursday 13 September 7.35pm Waikato v Hawke's Bay FMG Stadium Hamilton
    Saturday 22 September 2.35pm Hawke's Bay v North Harbour McLean Park Napier
    Wednesday 26 September 7.35pm Hawke's Bay v Northland McLean Park Napier
    Sunday 30 September 2.05pm Canterbury v Hawke's Bay AMI Stadium Christchurch
    Friday 5 October 7.35pm Hawke's Bay v Manawatu McLean Park Napier
    Thursday 11 October 7.35pm Tasman v Hawke's Bay Trafalgar Park Nelson
    Fri 19 - Sat 20 October SEMI-FINALS
    Friday 26 October 7.35pm Mitre 10 Cup Championship FINAL

  • As we already knew, we start with two away games.

    Our "storm week" this year consists of a home game against North Harbour, followed 4 days later by a home game v Northland, and then 4 days later Canterbury in Christchurch. That's for (at least) the third consecutive year, we have Canterbury in our "storm week". The next game is, by the way, 5 days later against Manawatu at home. So we'll have 4 games in 14 days! That's a bit much, isn't it?

    We again have BOP and Manuwatu at home, and Tasman away.

    No Wellington, Auckland and Taranaki this year.

  • Our best - and possibly only - shot at a Ranfurly Shield challenge would be if Taranaki lose the Shield to Waikato on Sunday, 9 September. We play Waikato in Hamilton on Thursday 13 September.

  • Magpies 52-man training squad announced

    Rugby: Boswell-Wakefield returns to Magpies nest
    The return of Trent Boswell-Wakefield and the naming of two players yet to be sighted in the province are features of a 52-strong Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby wider training group named last night.

    Loosie Boswell-Wakefield, 29, played 70 first class games for the Magpies between 2010 and 2016 before deciding to play in Spain last year. A 2009 world champion New Zealand under-20 player, Boswell-Wakefield returned to the Bay a fortnight ago and will play his first club game of the season for Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical against Taradale Rugby and Sports at the Tareha Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

    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.

    "It's all about getting our base wider. I'm very happy with the talent we've got when you compare where we were in November to where we are now ... I can sleep a little bit better at night," Ozich said.

    "To be able to find players like Sam Ulufanoa and JJ Taulagi and to have them and others like Fa'alemiga Selesele and Pasqualle Dunn playing club rugby in the Bay from the start of the season is great. It means we are able to be working with them and not waiting for them as well as our Super players to return.

    "It's less disruptive. When players came in late last year there was no continuity and it was too hard to create a culture. Doing it this way players are aware of the expectations and skills required and it's really positive," Ozich explained.

    He pointed out the squad of 52 is for the first pre-season game against Tasman in Wellington on May 2. Seven of the squad are injured but they still attend trainings to keep in touch with the systems.

    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.

    Ozich stressed the Tasman game was crucial to gauge where players in the wider training group were at.

    "Tasman are a similar sized union to us and have a similar make-up. At the same time we are mindful of the players' commitment to club rugby and that is why we will probably take 30 players ... nobody will play 80 minutes and some may only play 20."

    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.

    The 52-strong Magpies wider training group to prepare for a game against Tasman on May 2 and begin training at Elwood Park, Hastings from tomorrow is:

    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).

  • @number-10 Ah, I just posted that in the other thread. Could have posted it here. Never mind.

  • Latest update on Brendon Edmonds, who is still contracted to the Highlanders until the end of this year.

  • First preseason game is today. Hawke's Bay Saracens v Tasman.
    Kick-off 2.00pm at Hutt Recreational Ground, Lower Hutt.

    Team playing the 1st half
    1 Mark Braidwood Tech
    2 Jason Long HRS
    3Joe Apikotoa Taradale
    4 Sam Ulufonua Havelock
    5 Tom Parsons CHB
    6 Fa'aleminga Selesele MAC
    7 Chris Johnson NOBM
    8 Josh Kaifa Clive
    9 Ellery Wilson NOBM
    10 Lincoln McClutchie Tamatea
    11 Mason Emerson HRS
    12 Danny Toala HRS
    13 Sasa Tofilau Clive
    14 Michael Buckley NOBM
    15 JJ Taulagi Tech
    16 Sebastian Visinia Tech

    Team playing the 2nd Half
    1 Aleki Vuki HRS
    2 Frank Tupuola MAC
    3 Josiah Metcalfe HRS
    4 Trent Boswell-Wakefield Tech
    5 Matt Gardner NOBM
    6 Ricky Hayes NOBM
    7 Nathan Tweedy Taradale
    8 TBC
    9 Folau Fakatava HRS
    10 Johnny Lauano NOBM
    11 Mitch Drew NOBM
    12 Timo Vaioso HRS
    13 Shae Tucker NOBM
    14 Willie McGoon Havelock
    15 John Ika MAC
    16 Jack Nelson-Murray NOBM

  • Managed to get away from work for a few hours, and went to the preseason game. I hope it's a good sign for the rest of the season, because we beat Tasman 31 to 22. If I recognised the players correctly (some without a number on their shirt), the Bay's tries were scored by Tom Parson, Sebastian Visinia, JJ Taulagi, Sasa Tofilau and Folau Fakatava. Josh Kaifa left the field with an ankle injury. He managed to walk afterwards, but it looked painful.

    A few things I noticed:

    • giving away too many penalties
    • scrum is still a work-on (that's where several of the penalties came from)
    • too many handling errors (particularly, dropping balls/knock-ons)
    • backs already look exciting (I focused mainly on them, because I found them easier to recognise)
    • JJ Taulagi is smaller than I thought and lost a few one-on-one's, possibly because of his size. But when he was able to step his opponents (and that happened often) and went hot on attack, he was really hard to stop.
    • I don't know who the very big midfielder was (I first thought he was a prop), but while he is strong and relentless on defence, he is also quite slow.
    • our ex-schoolboys are looking good, particularly Toala and Fakatava. Exp Fakatava is pure class. I wish they'd selected him already for the NZ U20s.
    • he may not have been the best on the field, but Mason Emerson was good in taking a leadership role. He was screaming his lungs out now and then.

    I found two short clips on Twitter (don't watch them full screen because the quality isn't good enough for that):

    I think this is Tom Parsons try:

    This is - without the lead-up - the try from Folau Fakatava:

    I think they were filming, so there will probably be a highlights video later in the week.

  • Yep, I was impressed with Fakatava when I watched Hastings RS play MAC, and he only played 30 minutes!

    I reckon he is good enough to play Mitre 10 Cup this year.

  • @number-10 Yes, I think so, too. I expect that he will first play the U19s tournament, unless there are injury concerns at halfback, and then gradually get some game time from the bench. Same with Flanders, by the way.

  • It was interesting to see a whole delegation from the Wellington Lions in the stands, among them, Cory Jane. Spying haha?
    I can confirm that Shane Christie was part of the Tasman coaching staff present at the game.

    From the Super Rugby Magpies, I did see Gareth Evans. There may have been more of them though, sitting at the reserves bench maybe (too far away for me to see).

  • Video (50 minutes) of the HB Saracens v Tasman XV game from last week.

  • Second pre-season game:

    Wairarapa Bush v Hawke's Bay Saracens
    Monday, 4 June (Queen's Birthday), kick-off 2pm at Featherston Rugby Club

    Squad according to the HBT:

    Forwards: Mark Braidwood, Jason Long, Joe Apikotoa, Aleki Vuki, Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Sam Ulufonua, Tom Parsons, Lui Luamanu, Matt Gardner, Fa'alemiga Selesele, Lucas Goodin, Chris Johnston, Ricky Hayes, Nathan Tweedy, Hannon Brighouse, Ben Hamelink, Jack Nelson-Murray, Kianu Kereru-Symes, Frank Tupuola.

    Backs: Ellery Wilson, Folau Fakatava, Zac Donaldson, Tianua Poto, Lincoln McClutchie, Sasa Tofilau, Sebastian Visinia, Timo Vaiusu, Shae Tucker, Johnny Ika, Pasqualle Dunn, Mason Emerson, Danny Toala, Willie McGoon, Michael Buckley, JJ Taulagi, Mitch Drew, Hayden Hann.

    Injured: Lester Maulolo, Tim Farrell, Jacob Devery, Tamati Samuels, Ryan Tongia, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Josh Kaifa.

    Unavailable: Devan Flanders, Will Tremain (both at Under 20 World Championship).

  • Slightly corrected Hawke's Bay Saracens squad for Monday's preseason game v Wairarapa Bush:

    1 Jason Long, 2 Jacob Devery, 3 Joe Apikotoa, 4 Tom Parsons, 5 Matt Gardner, 6 Lui Luamanu, 7 Richy Hayes, 8 Hannon Brighouse, 9 Ellery Wilson, 10 Lincoln McClutchie, 11 Mason Emerson, 12 Pasqualle Dunn, 13 Sasa Tofilau, 14 Ryan Tongia, 15 Danny Toala

    Reserves: 16 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 17 Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe, 18 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 19 Chris Johnston, 20 Ben Hamelink, 21 Sam Ulufonua, 22 Folau Fakatava, 23 Tianua Poto, 24 Shae Tucker, 25 Hayden Hann, 26 Michael Buckley, 27 Mitch Drew

    And according to the HBT:

    Injured: Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Tim Farrell, Lester Maulolo, Tamati Samuels, Fa'alemiga Selesele, Josh Kaifa, JJ Taulagi, Mark Braidwood, Lucas Goodin, Aleki Vuki.

    Unavailable: Devan Flanders, Will Tremain (both with NZ 20s), Johnny Ika (Tonga A), Will McGoon (Away).

  • Half time in Featherston: HB Saracens 19 - 7 Wairarapa Bush

    HB tries: Ricky Hayes, Pasquale Dunn and Joe Apikatoa; conversion 2x Lincoln McClutchie.

  • Full time: Hawke's Bay Saracens 57 - 14 Wairarapa Bush

    Tries: Ricky Hayes, Pasquelle Dunn, Joe Apikatoa, Hayden Hann, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Michael Buckley, Folou Fakatava, Josiah Tevita-Metcalfe 2x

    Conversions: Lincoln McClutchie 4 and Tianua Poto 2.

  • That scoreline has got to be a bit worrisome considering Horowhenua did the Bush by about forty in a curtainraiser to one of the Hurricanes games a couple of weeks ago.

  • It was raining pretty heavy so that could have affect to the score line

  • More than 52 minutes long video of the preseason game between Hawke's Bay Saracens and Wairarapa Bush:


    Highlights only:

  • Next preseason game:

    July 4 – Manawatu Evergreens v Hawke’s Bay Saracens, Sport and Rugby Institute, Palmerston North, kick-off 6pm

  • Was advised today there is an expectation Geoff Cridge ought to be available for Magpies in September.

  • @number-10 That would be awesome! He's been extremely unlucky with injuries, but I think he could become a very good lock. I hope a good season for us will give him an opportunity to get another SR contract. I'm afraid the Canes will dump him like they've done with Renton though.

  • Magpies prop Pouri Rakete-Stones is included in the Hurricanes team to play the Chiefs in a friendly at Hawera tomorrow.

    15 Chase Tiatia
    14 Julian Savea
    13 Wes Goosen
    12 Peter Umaga-Jensen
    11 Jonah Lowe
    10 Jackson Garden-Bachop
    9 Finlay Christie
    8 Gareth Evans
    7 Sam Henwood
    6 Reed Prinsep (c)
    5 Sam Lousi
    4 James Blackwell
    3 Marcel Renata
    2 James O'Reilly
    1 Fraser Armstrong


    16 Nathan Vella
    17 Chris Eves
    18 Pouri Rakete-Stones
    19 Michael Fatialofa
    20 Isaia Walker-Leawere
    21 Murray Douglas
    22 Du'Plessis Kirifi
    23 Jamie Booth
    24 Ihaia West
    25 Ben Lam

  • @number-10 Yeah, I noticed that. He seems to be replacing Ben May (assuming Renata replaces JTA). I wonder whether Ben is injured? It looks like PR-S is now no. 4 in the TH pecking order at the Canes. Has May re-signed yet? If my notes are correct, his Canes' contract expires after this SR season (his Magpies contract, too, after this season). He's 35 years old. It would be awesome if PR-S could score a Canes contract if he has a good M10 Cup season. Btw, Eves is 30 and Toby Smith 29. The Canes propping stocks could use some rejuvenation.

  • Tomorrow, the Hawke's Bay Saracens will play their third preseason game. Opponents this time are the Manawatu Evergreens, for whom it's the first preseason game. Venue: Sports & Rugby Institute, Palmerston North. K/o 6.00pm.

    Anyone going?

    This is the Saracens line-up:

    1 Jason Long (vc)(HRS)
    2 Jacob Devery (HRS)
    3 Joe Apikotoa (Taradale)
    4 Tom Parsons (c) (CHB)
    5 Lui Luamanu (Taradale)
    6 Hannon Brighouse (NOBM)
    7 Chris Johnston (NOBM)
    8 Solomone Funaki (MAC)
    9 Folau Fakatava (HRS)
    10 Lincoln McClutchie (Tamatea)
    11 Sebastian Visinia (Tech)
    12 Sasa Tofilau (Clive)
    13 Shae Tucker (NOBM)
    14 Mitch Drew (NOBM)
    15 JJ Taulagi (Clive)

    16 Ben Power (Havelock N), 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones (Pirates), 18 Mark Braidwood (Tech), 19 Sam Ulufonua (Havelock N), 20 Ricky Hayes (NOBM), 21 Tyler Symon-Burke (NOBM), 22 Will Tremain (NOBM), 23 Ellery Wilson (NOBM), 24 Tianua Poto (Clive), 25 Pasqualle Dunn (CHB), 26 Lewis Marshall (CHB), 27 Danny Toala (HRS)

    I've posted the Manawatu line-up in the Mitre 10 Cup thread.

  • Ten of those 27 have arrived in the province this year - including returnees Tom Parsons and Lewis Marshall.

    Ben Power has just arrived in.

  • @number-10 Do you know, have those who have come in from other provinces (returnees excluded) all been invited to come here and try for a Magpies spot, or have some come uninvited, just to try their luck? I understand from the HBT that Power was the 5th-ranked hooker in Wellington. It looks like we're a prime destination for other provinces' rejects or 3rd stringers.

    Is this correct?

    Joe Apikotoa - Wellington
    Tom Parsons - Manawatu returnee
    Lui Luamanu - Wellington
    Solomone Funaki - BoP
    Visinia - Auckland
    Tofilau - Auckland
    Taulagi - Sunwolves
    Ben Power - Wellington
    Ulufonua - Auckland
    Dunn - Auckland (arrived last year)
    Marshall - Manawatu returnee

  • @stargazer said in Magpies - 2018 Mitre 10 Cup:

    @number-10 Do you know, have those who have come in from other provinces (returnees excluded) all been invited to come here and try for a Magpies spot, or have some come uninvited, just to try their luck? I understand from the HBT that Power was the 5th-ranked hooker in Wellington. It looks like we're a prime destination for other provinces' rejects or 3rd stringers.

    Is this correct?

    Joe Apikotoa - Wellington
    Tom Parsons - Manawatu returnee
    Lui Luamanu - Wellington
    Solomone Funaki - BoP
    Visinia - Auckland
    Tofilau - Auckland
    Taulagi - Sunwolves
    Ben Power - Wellington
    Ulufonua - Auckland
    Marshall - Manawatu returnee

    Yes, you've got them right.

    The ones in bold played Mitre 10 Cup last year.

    Taulagi is the only one with a Magpies contract. The others have been invited to come and try their luck. If they don't secure a Magpies contract this year they, no doubt, will be elsewhere in 2019. In retrospect, the Vaega brothers coming here last year was a waste of time - just one year here and then gone. So am not quite sure if the influx of hopefuls is a good thing or not.

    Having watched a lot of club rugby I think the level of club rugby this year has probably been lifted, which is, of course, a good thing, coupled wth more players to choose from in certain positions.

    But with our Super Rugby players to come back, I also think a few of last year's debutants should be persevered with, like Tim Farrell, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Jacob Devery.

    And, I have said it before, I reckon halfback Folau Fakatava is worthy of a Magpies contract this year in his first year out of school.

  • If Ben Power was really interested in playing his way into the Magpies he should have shown the commitment and desire to represent the Bay and come right at the start of the Club season rather than turning up at the last minute. Smacks of "Oh hell, I've got no show of making the Wellington Team after all, who will have me and where can I go to earn a bit of coin". We seem to be becoming the haven or last resort call for people that can't make it elsewhere, eg that guy that was on the fringe of BoP turning up here and what look like being railroaded into the Magpies when in reality he was just a squad member at BoP that got limited game time at best.

    Having said that Ben Power is a reasonable player, but ITM Cup level - it remains to be seen.

  • @stargazer What about Josh Kaifa is he still around?

  • @kiwimatrix He got injured (ankle) during the preseason game against Tasman a while ago. I don't think he has returned from that injury yet.

  • Keep your fingers crossed, say your prayers, or whatever works for you, that this isn't a good Magpies prospect who got injured. Please, no repeat of the last two seasons with all those injuries. Whoever the player is, I wish him all the best.

  • @stargazer Somebody wrote on Instagram it was Will Tremain with the serious injury.

  • @kiwimatrix Damn. After all the injuries he's already had. Really unlucky. Hope it isn't a season-ending injury.

  • According to this morning's match report in the Hawke's Bay Today the Saracens were down to 14 players due to numerous injuries when Tremain got injured.

    Ten of the players will not play for their club this weekend due to their injuries in this match.

  • Manawatu thugs

  • Geez, 10 injuries.

    From the HBT article below:

    "When the ambulance came on for Will Tremain in the 70th minute we were down to 14 players. It was a physical game and while we had a lot of injuries Manawatu had nothing major. That can be the nature of the beast when it comes to rugby," Ozich said.
    Substitute flanker Tremain was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg. He had a huge gash from his knee down to his ankle.
    Prop Joe Apikotoa will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a knee injury. Flanker Ricky Hayes will be out for a similar period with a shoulder injury.
    Locks Tom Parsons and Lui Luamanu will be sidelined for up to four weeks with respective shin and knee injuries. First five-eighth Lincoln McClutchie has a groin injury and will be sidelined for two weeks.
    Utility back Danny Toala and lock Sam Ulufonua will both be out of action for two to three weeks with ankle injuries and winger Mitch Drew and No 8 Solomone Funaki face at least two weeks with spectator roles after collecting calf and hip injuries respectively.

  • WTF! We can add injuries to the list of shitty Palmy things.

  • Two videos of the preseason game between the Saracens and Manawatu Evergreens.
    Unfortunately, they positioned the camera wrong, so you can't see tries scored in the corners.

    First, long video (42 min), with sound from referee mic:


    Second, highlights video (11 min):

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