Northland 2020

  • Northland 2020 Contracted players

    Ross Wright (Wellsford)
    Jack Straker (Kamo)
    Paddy Atkins (Wellsford)
    Jordan Olsen (Mid Northern)
    Josh Goodhue (Blues/United Kawakawa/Moerewa)
    Sam Caird (OBM)
    Temo Mayanavanua (Waipu)
    Rob Rush (tbc)
    Tom Robinson (Blues/Kerikeri)
    Sam McNamara (Waipu)
    Kane Jacobson (Kamo)
    Saimoni Uluinakauvadra (Waipu)
    Aorangi Stokes (OBM)
    Sam Nock (Blues/Kerikeri)
    Harrison Levien (OBM)
    Blake Hohaia (OBM)
    Jack Goodhue (Crusaders/United Kawakawa/Moerewa)
    Tamati Tua (Kamo)
    Rene Ranger (Wellsford)
    Jordan Hyland (Blues/Wellsford)
    Scott Gregory (Highlanders/Hikurangj

    There will be 10-15 contracts available through club rugby.

    Just on a couple of players that have not signed,
    Isi Tuangafasi has signed with Canterbury and the Crusaders
    Corey Te Whata Colley is reportedly heading to France
    Unlikely to see Jonty Rae back in Cambridge Blue, but I stand to be corrected .
    I would imagine Pisi Leilua and Renata Roberts TeNana will have to come back through club form

  • Jonty Rae was a standout this season and Roberts Te Nana would have started every game. We need Jonty's speed and aggression in the contact. It is puzzling to have some many players contracted.

    James Cherrington would at be the top of my list of contracted along with Derek Carpenter, they would form a hard and uncompromising midfield that has the ability to set the back three free young enough to bring years of stability in the midfield and mentor the next generation. What we need is a first five and halfback that clears the ball fast so our backline has time and control and direct the forwards.

    We need to go back to the sub unions and build academy programs around key positions. Looking for playmakers in touch is a good idea, we have programs in this space but they are nothing more than lip service. We have let gems like Noel Edmonds slip through our hands over the years. Men who bleed blue and would have been superstars anywhere else. Northland selectors often need binoculars to see outside Whangarei urban teams of drafties from outside the region.

  • @SmokeyT I think Jonty was carrying an injury most of the season, when he did get out on the field one leg was always heavily strapped.

    Would be nice to get some consistency in our mid-field, chopped and changed week to week this year...

    Both he and Leilua looked the goods at club, but Leilua just looked out of his depth, and Jonty just didnt get enough time.

    Roberts-Te Nana should be there, has the talent, just needs to back himself...possibly an issue stemmed form the team being low on confidence this year too.

    Think it was v Canterbury, Te Nana had the opportunity to take someone on the outside which had he beat him, would have been a foot race to the tryline; with space and his gas, yet opted to go inside to take the contact.

    Have to hope they are working through a contract with Matiu, easily our best player this year.

    Rob Rush snapped up pretty quick though, heard there are a few other age group players in the crosshairs too.

  • Our internal talent development, retention hasn't been good. We start losing players at school boy rugby level and with the possibility of professional careers we have to position ourselves as a successful team to encourage home grown talent to stay or return.

  • Spot on kev. The young player development pathway is poor. I dont like to say it, but right now, if I was a young player showing a bit of potential, I'd try and get into another system. If you compare us to a province like Taranaki, we would have more raw material than them in the long term. But they seem to get the utmost out of their locals, and because they have a good recent record, they can bring in class players from the outside to top up the squad. This situation absolutely has to be changed. It hamstrings the NPC squad right from the kickoff.

  • Taniwha, what are you saying! The midfield was extremely consistent this year! Consistently SHITE! Leilua is a perfect example of what we are talking about. Our outsides were actually quite good this year, but they got absolutely no service from inside. If Leilua had been put into any sort of space by the midfield, I think he would have had a dynamic season. And probably got some sort of Super deal. That's what should have happened. Instead, I'm concerned that players like Leilua will try their luck somewhere else. As for Witcombe. I dont know him, but think if I did, I'd like him. But to be the Taniwha coach right now, you need to be very strong mentally and I dont think he's up to it. The Witcombe/Konia dynamic, alternating head/assistant coach roles, is a bit weird too.

  • @mohikamo I had heard from a pretty reliable source that it had been suggested to Sam Nock that signing for a team other than Northland would be better for his career....

  • Exactly Taniwha, it's a real concern.

  • @mohikamo but hey, we will keep supporting our guys through the bad times and the worse times... 🤦 🙂

  • Now that the coaches are in place and a good number of players are signed I thought it would be a great opportunity to look at some positions that need the biggest attention ..
    Tight head prop and First Five are the 2 real major areas ..
    In fact all up we are probably looking for 2 players for each position...
    In terms of the props, i am reasonably confident with former Fijian prop Graham Dewes stepping in as the forwards coach he will have a handle on some decent props out in the market place not to mention having coached the development team for the last couple of seasons ,he will know what’s coming through..
    In terms of locals , Alex Gale from Kamo and if he returns from Queensland Hamish Richardson who played for the Western Sharks might be well worth a look at..

    As for the first fives, who knows..I know the union is looking at potentially a young Northland boy plying his trade in Auckland which is not a bad thing, but I personally would love to have an experienced head as well
    On the local scene, having seen Tom Smith from Kerikeri , just not sure if Mitre 10 is his ceiling at this stage of his career..and maybe Nikau Graham who is only young are other potential options.

    I have heard D’Angelo Leuila who played for Auckland this year might looking to move as he snookered in behind Harry Plummer..Leuila was quite superb when he played for Auckland against Northland ..
    Looking around at the Heartland provinces , the only player that I have seen that looks like he could step up potentially is James Lash who turns out for Buller,.once again though there is a bit of risk and reward involved.

    A couple of other positions personally I would like to see pursued are Number 8 and openside flanker..
    Just on the number 7 jersey..whilst Kara Pryor could frustrate the hell out of me, I really do think he’s a classy player and maybe now that Whitcombe has moved on , might work with a different coaching staff onboard ..I see that he has signed for major league Rugby , but should be free after that , worth going after in my book.

    And finally with Jacob Matiu playing in the USA and not knowing what’s happening moving forward, I would love to see the union go after a big number 8 who can get some go forward ..
    We have not had a player with size in the 8 jersey for a very long time...we have a.ways had smaller sized players in that position..

    Thomas Anderson impressed me during the 7s campaign with his strength especially..stands around 6’2 .100kgs plus..looks to have great potential..
    There’s a couple of other young Northland boys running around in Auckland in Terrell Peita and John Latu who have both got great potential, but the kid I would go after is Pauliasi Manu’s younger brother Isileli Manu..has played Blues Dev and Auckland under 19s ..the kid is a beast, 6’4 118 Kgs .he would give you some go forward no question and from what I believe has a great workrate for such a big man..

  • @Steven-Harris when I saw Gale a few weeks back, he looks to have shed alot of weight.

    Be good if he can make the step up, is someone that gives his all for 80, and seems to brings alot to Kamo in terms of leadership and energy.

  • @taniwharugby yes , I have seen a recent FB pic of Gale, and he looks good ..when was the last time we had a really big ball carrying number 8..?.maybe Cam Goodhue

  • @Steven-Harris and even he wasnt that big.

    10 is gonna be a big issue for us, either way we go, it will be a rookie running things, so we will need to take a punt, and back him.

  • @Steven-Harris said in Northland 2020:

    Leuila was quite superb when he played for Auckland against Northland ..

    His general play was terrible in the other matches he played though. Great goal kicker. He’ll be behind Sullivan as well next year, so very poachable

    I assume Wiseguy has fallen away? A shame because he has plenty of talent

  • @Duluth think Wiseguy went back to Auckland not intending to come back, believe him not making the cut is nothing to do with his onfield play.

  • @Duluth Yeah probably best to stay away from Leuila. He's got a decent boot but his distribution from the hand is poor to the point where the outside backs barely see the ball.

  • @Duluth Wiseguy is back in Auckland, staying with his parents at the minute, the good thing is he is working which can only be a good thing..he’s actually a classy footballer, just probably all happened a too early for him..hope he comes back in the future , he’s too talented not to...

  • Had it confirmed to me that Ponsonby and Auckland Dev First Five Johnny Cooper , son of former Northland winger Percy Cooper has been signed by the Taniwha for the 2020 season, however he will play through with Ponsonby until June until he completes his study ..

  • @Steven-Harris

    A good signing. He's an option at fullback too

  • @Duluth good that he’s able to carry on with his studies ,also heard through a source,don’t know how accurate this is, that Wiseguy Faiane has gone to Canterbury..?

  • @Steven-Harris if the rumoured off-field issues are true, a complete break into a new environment might see him realise his full potential.

  • Tighthead prop Kalolo Tuiloma has signed with Northland for 2020 Mitre 10 Cup season

    Date of birth 24 June 1990 (age 29)
    Place of birth Wellington, New Zealand
    Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
    Weight 137 kg (21 st 8 lb; 302 lb)
    School Aorere College
    Timaru Boys' High School
    Rugby union career
    Position(s) Tighthead Prop
    Current team Highlanders / Counties Manukau
    Senior career
    Years Team Apps (Points)
    2013 South Canterbury ()
    2016– Counties Manukau 11 (20)
    2016–2017 Grenoble ()
    2018– Highlanders 2

  • @Steven-Harris Big man. Hope they can get the best out of him i.e. hope he is fit.

  • @kev yea I hope our conditioning coach keeps a tight reign on our frontline players, too many looked off the pace last year.

    Could be a decent signing though.

  • @Steven-Harris said in Northland 2020:

    Kalolo Tuiloma

    He has signed with Utah Warriors for the 2020 MLR season.

  • @Stargazer yeah I had heard that, hopefully he turns up in reasonable shape ..

  • @Steven-Harris you would hope that all of the players doing a US gig should come back in decent shape...are these teams doing thier own things or sharing with other codes? If the latter, surely facilities for these guys would likely be superior to many of ours

  • @Steven-Harris 6 foot five for a tighthead prop? Looks an ideal candidate for a locking spot in the Hurricanes!

  • @Higgins to me, he looks more around the 6,3 mark, but he is a sizeable human being..they tend to blow out some of these stats in my opinion ..especially our good mate Ken Laban when he’s commentating ..

  • @Steven-Harris turns out he's a cousin of a good friend of mine, small world.

  • Sir Graham Lowe - Guest Coaching Role with Northland Rugby

    Northland Rugby is excited to announce that Sir Graham Lowe has accepted a 2 week guest coaching role with the NRU.
    The former Rugby League Kiwi, Manly Sea Eagles, Wigan and Queensland State of Origin coach will start when the Mitre 10 squad assembles full time from Monday, July 13.
    Sir Graham said he is really honoured and excited about the invitation and is looking forward to sharing some of his coaching experience and philosophy with the Mitre 10 squad coaches and players.
    Acting CEO, Jeremy Ratu:
    “Having a gentleman of Sir Grahams stature and experience will be an honour and a privilege for the Northland Rugby Union. We expect the benefit of his time in the north to extend not just to Northland Rugby Union staff and Mitre 10 cup players, but also to our volunteers, clubs, and even across other codes. We are incredibly excited to see what he brings to the table.”
    Head Coach, George Konia:
    “This will be another exciting year for rugby in Northland, and with the added motivation that this is our Centennial year, we continue to aspire to grow and develop ourselves into a successful rugby province. Therefore, it is a privilege to have Sir Graham come into our team environment to help grow and strengthen us, both on and off the field. He has a wealth of knowledge that we can all learn from, and are all very excited with his involvement”.


  • @Stargazer yeah I had seen that a few weeks back, think it is always good to have people form outside the sport involved like this.

    What I got from that was that Jeremy Ratu was our acting CEO, I had completely missed that over the past couple of months.

  • @taniwharugby I like that, nice and simple

  • @Machpants yep, almost identical to the CCC one from 2000ish +/-

  • FB_IMG_1596069594014.jpg
    Northland on point with fan engagement naming some of their team this far out

  • Skimming through last years squad.. there a few notable names missing (I guess some could be added later)

    Matt Matich (Overseas? I think he was playing in South America earlier in the year?)
    Isi Tu'ungafasi (Did he transfer to Canterbury?)
    Jack Debreczeni (Japan)
    Jaycob Matiu
    Sean Sweetman
    Renata Roberts-Te Nana

  • Be interesting to see if Tamati Tua can fulfil his promise this season. Had no idea he was 1.96m. Ever try fullback?

  • @Yeetyaah agreed.

    Their marketing and social media presence is very good at the moment, they even have weekly updates with all the top try/point scorers across the different club grades/competitions.

    Certainly worlds ahead of where it used to be.

  • @Duluth said in Northland 2020:

    Matt Matich (I think I recall seeing recent photos of him playing for his Sharks club side... maybe??)
    Isi Tu'ungafasi (Transferred to Canterbury)
    Jaycob Matiu (Playing for Hora Hora, so assume he'll be signed considering he was Northland player of the year last season)

    Fixed some for you...

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