Looking forward to 2019...

  • @J77 if Olsen gets called up to play for Canada I expect Ross Wright to be playing 2 for us, Matthews backing up and then someone else to be called in.

  • @taniwharugby said in Looking forward to 2019...:

    @J77 if Olsen gets called up to play for Canada I expect Ross Wright to be playing 2 for us, Matthews backing up and then someone else to be called in.

    That could work! And he would also be a suitable captain. As would Matich and Goodhue.

    Moulds qualifies for 🇮🇪 and 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿.

  • @J77 the Blues selection and development of players had been a shambles for years. Northland players struggle with selection with no one in the coaching and support staff. The Blues don’t rotate players despite being the worst performing franchise over many years. Too many of their 2nd and 3rd choice players never play but the first choice team is packed full of over rated players not performing that don’t compete for their place. Just really disappointed that Moulds hasn’t been given a real shot when the player in front of him is so average - deserved better.

  • trial squads announced:


    copy and paste is a mess from thier site....

  • Sykes was back playing for Kamo on the weekend, but not named in either trial team...huge opportunity for Levien and Pittman I think with Nock possibly out for a part or all of the M10 Cup season now.

  • @taniwharugby going to pop up for this trial game,I have been getting some goss on players to watch..
    From what I believe OBM is building some really good depth and have attracted some good players from outside the region..

  • @Steven-Harris

    From what I have heard, OBM have a shit load of cash in the bank...you always hear from opposition clubs 'we never pay players' but they do, then another club says they dont, but someone else says they do...so taken with a grain of salt, but heard of one player who was in negotiations with OBM and another club and he told them outright why he went there.

    We have a home game that day, so might try to get along too

  • Researched a few the names we don’t know to much about.
    Firstly it’s great to see a few names starting to filter through from the Northland under 19s.
    Denver Patauawai who is a very solid prop that has being going really well for such a young guy and also Nikau Graham who has been running the cutter at first five at Kamo.
    From what I have been told about Graham with the extra bow as a goalkicking looks a potential Mitre 10 Cup player of the future.

    I will start with a couple of new names in the forwards
    Raikabula Moemoedonu is last year’s Fijian under 20 skipper who can play 6 or 8 tall rangy is good athlete that has been going well for Waipu.
    Mathew Elia ,famous Rugby League second name has a bit of pedigree ,was involved with NZ secondary schools rugby ,was in the NZ Development Under 17 squad back in 2010
    which I guess makes him around 26 years old.
    Can play any one of the 3 loose forwards coach but talking to Greg Shipton who overseas OBM rugby has real potential as a number 7 over 100kgs and 6 foot.
    Played most of his rugby down in Christchurch and was on the cusp of cracking Canterbury ,has played for the Canterbury Development squad , but I guess when you have so many good players in that region, the next best thing is to move on..

    Good to see the net has also been cast far and wide which gives local players a crack.
    Don’t know too much about these 2 Paora Allen from Otiria who plays lock and Likewise Trevor Attwood from OBM who has been putting in some great performances, has a huge engine with a good work rate ,both players are from the Bay of Islands.

    Don’t know to much about Richard Manuel from Kaitaia, Bodene Davis from Kaikohe ,both loose forwards and Abdale Weir a prop from Waipu..hopefully someone can fill in some blanks.

    Just looking at the backs, it’s the outside backs that’s exciting me the most.
    Jonty Rae has looked extra good lining up at fullback for OBM
    Tall and Rangy and good size 1.89 98 kgs can also play wing, has a very educated left foot which has good distance, can an also kick goals which is an extra string to his bow..
    Having been part of Waikato 7s and Waikato Development back in 2017 he was very close to cracking Waikato’s top side but had a season ending injury which required knee surgery ,fell off the radar and decided to head over to Ireland ..but only 24 he’s back in NZ and more importantly in the Taniwha frame..could be a real solution to the Northland fullback puzzle .

    Pisi Leilua we have spoken about before ,but it is great to seeing he has further pushed his claims by making the trial squad ,Philip Manako as well both are part of a Waipu back division that has been extra well..

    Peniasi Malimali from Western Sharks is a Fijian boy who only just missed out on a place in the Fijian National 7s Team ,is a converted flanker has been likened to Sevu Reece in terms of power and physicality..really keen to see this guy in action

    Good to see a couple of players returning James
    Cherrington from Mid Northern, made the Taniwha squad a couple of seasons back, so I’m guessing club form and taking on board a leadership role at his club placing him back in the frame .

    Emile Pittman impressed us all couple seasons seasons back, but never really caught a really good opportunity, with a 3 halfback yet to be decided and Mac Sykes having pulled out of the HP squad he’s probably in a straight battle with Wil Grant from Hora Hora who is a very tidy 9, has played for New South Wales Country and is tough as they come..reminds me of Steve Devine the former Blues halfback

    Only player I don’t know too much about is the other halfback Cory Taylor from Kerikeri ,has come up from Christchurch.
    Once again relying on someone to fill the gaps
    Heading up to watch the trial on the 1st June, should be interesting

  • @Steven-Harris will be interesting to see Nikau the kamo 10 outside Sykes, looked handy outside a struggling 9 early on, so Sykes might give him a shot to shine.

  • @Steven-Harris got up to experience some North Zone club footy today. Watched Otiria v Rarawa at Ahipara. Paora Allen is a big unit, didn’t really show out as being overly physical, but having said that the standard of footy was poor. He was the only lineout option for Otiria and took every one.

    He stood out like dogs balls in terms of physique, the rest were pretty much carrying beer guts and love handles!

    I haven’t had the chance to get to many games this year up north so I couldn’t really fill you in on the other Far North prospects unfortunately.

    Good to see Jone Macilai back running about too..

  • Renata Roberts-Te Nana (outside back) re-signed with Northland for 2019, Aorangi Stokes and Sam McNamara (both Loose forwards) re-signed through to 2020

    New signing, Harrison Levien (halfback) for 2019 season.

    Scott Gregory recommitted to Northland through to 2022!

  • @taniwharugby hope Renata stays fit. Looked good with limited time last year.

  • @kev yeah I think he has a huge upside if he can get some solid game time, good pace, and balance.

    Hearing good things about Jonty Rae though, looks a big strong runner, although they both play for OBM and last game I saw of them, RRT was at 10 (Rae wasnt playing that game)

  • @taniwharugby

    Really excited about the prospects of Jonty Rae,if this turns up trumps, the non signing Alaimalo could be a blessing.

    Had a good chat last night to my cousin Waka Harris who coaches Kaikohe in the Bay of Islands.
    Got some more information on Bodene Davis, apparently he has a younger brother by the name of Micheal who in my cousins words is an absolute mongrel and is potentially better than Bodene.
    Micheal played league for Moerewa tigers and has surprised many with his transition to Union.
    Currently out with a shoulder injury at the minute and is around 19-20 years old .
    .Bodene is around 22,runs very good lines and 6’3 is big for a 7, can be used in the lineout has superb hands.
    According to my cousin his one weakness is he tackles a little on the high side similar to Kara Pryor..uses their body weight to ride down and pilfer.
    He has mainly schooled up North but has been studying over last couple of years and put rugby on hold but is fired up and ready to see where the rugby journey takes him.
    Both boys are Grandsons of Tass Davis who was local playing legend for Hokianga back in the halcyon day’s of the Harding Shield (remember those days..)
    Waka had some really high praise for Derrin & George getting out and about to watch rugby in the more rural areas not to mention turning up to help at a couple of practices ..
    Kaikohe are going well,3rd in the North Zone comp,and he has seen a real improvement across the board with good competition

  • @Steven-Harris we often see players drift in and out from the North Zone or move South. Be great to see a contingent of players selected from Northern clubs for both the main squad and the reserves.

  • @kev some issues with the North Zone comp is the distance of travel, and then the gulf in quality, which is why most will drift south, but there is no denying there is talent a plenty there.

    The other issue is then with how little they get paid to play for Northland, they will likely need to move to at least Kerikeri (although Kaikohe being strong will help too) or further south if they want to further thier careers...which then reduces the quality of the comp up North....

  • @taniwharugby said in Looking forward to 2019...:

    trial squads announced:


    copy and paste is a mess from thier site....

    So form those teams, the follwing missing for a Blues dev game:
    B Wiggins
    T Mayanavanua
    S Caird
    W Faiane
    T Tua
    P Leilua

    Assume Konia gone form coaching one of these teams too, although guess he could still do both

    Shame for the sake of the game, but great for the guys involved.

  • @taniwharugby totally agree, a nothing game for the Blues Dev squad...seriously, tomorrow’s Northland trial game means a hell of lot more to me..would have been good to see many of the best players running around at their best..

  • as it turned out, most of those who played last night, played today.

    As @Steven-Harris will attest to, were some damn good players on display today.

    I was guessing who was who most of the time, but had most correct.

    With some squally showers early on, patches of sunshine but a freezing southerly, game was still played at a good pace with some good skill on display with South Zone taking the lollies 21-19 (I think)

    Players to stand out:
    Leilua - big solid unit for an outside back, good pace, talks alot on defence too.
    Rae - this guy impressed, had one very telling run beating a number of defenders, solid on d with his own game and organisation, and a decent punt on him, he and Leilua swapped wing to FB. ONe to watch for Northland I reckon.
    Tua - looked good in the first half, looks to have bulked up a bit too.
    HOhaia - best game I seen him play this year, strong running and defending.
    Nikau Graham - kid looked handy behind and underpowered Kamo pack with average service from his 9 (before Sykes came back) , but looked good today, good punt on him, not afraid to mix it up on defence either!
    Boyd wiggins is a big lad, started a bit slow and he got dominated early on (although found out he had copped a stray boot or somethign early on to his head and had a massive egg on it) but worked his way into the game and looks a good prospect
    Caird - got through a ton of work, could be a very good signing for NOrthland
    JOhnson - didnt stand out on offence, but organises and talks well on d, and a big strong lad
    MAcilai - looking a bit unfit, but still has it, step, accelaration, gas, even put in a huge effort on defence a couple of times, promising signs!
    All the halfbacks had thier moments, slick passing (and some poor passing) with both packs gaining ascendancy and then losing it...

    A few others showed patches of talent, but overall thought it was a good hitout, gonna be some handy players missing out on contracts this year, but our dev side should be pretty strong.

    am sure steven will add to this at some point

  • @taniwharugby hey buddy can’t disagree with too much you have said..
    Really excites me to see that Northland are heading in the right direction ,today’s game highlighted to me that many of the local club players are lifting their levels wether you play in the main premier A section or the North or South zone comps.
    The players who came from the various competitions all bought their A games and those even from the lesser club sides impressed.
    Talking to George Konia at games end, he’s was extremely pleased with what he saw and he and DW will definitely have a couple difficult decisions in terms of whom to select or leave out..

    From what I could gleam, there is still an opportunity for 3 outside backs..Pisi Leilua definitely put his hand up today..tall,solid,quick and extremely strong he was always looking for work and featured in a couple of strong breaks..Jonty Rae who started on the wing looked really good when given space, has a very solid left boot which would be more than handy in an exit situation..

    Jone Macilai still posses the ability to beat players and was always dangerous with ball in hand
    We know what he’s capable of but is probably in a race against time to get up to speed in terms of conditioning..several KGs to heavy at the minute

    The scrum battle was very even, with tightheads Alex Gale and the contracted Boyd Wiggins impressing ..

    Sam McNamara looks a few Kgs heavier and looked good ,
    Jared Byrnes from OBM was into everything, very physical at Breakdown and accurate on the tackle..really impressed me.

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