Northland High Performance

  • Drove up to Wellsford to check this game out,some real positives,the first being,to see much of the talent we have on hand.with the greatest respect to Harding Sheild Rugby,with some of the lopsided results in recent times,its never always easy to get a gauge were players sit at Harding Shield level,little alone rep level,but tonight against what was a very big CM pack that featured younger brother of Australian international Wil Skelton,Cam,who is just as tall and size to match,the Northland HP more than matched their opponents at set piece scrum,lineout was a bit wobbly at the start,but improved as the half progressd.CM's backline looked the slicker outfit in the early stages,with really good ball movement getiing in behind Northland on 2 or 3 Occassions,but Northland did scramble really well,CM did eventually take the lead,with a well taken try,but Northland hit back with a superb try to Sam Knock of a very good Jordon Highland break,Highland after a handling error and the odd defensive missread,finished the half strongly in all facets,having a hand in the 2nd try Isimeli Taquea wihich Solomona Paraki converted,for Northlands 12 points at halftime,CM also scored a 2nd try to their no7 on the blindside,so poor defence it is to be said,overall solid enough,the front row of Namatahi Wa and Phil Kite,was impressed with Josh Larsen at lock who was always looking to carry into the heart of the defence,Jack Ram in the number 7 was not to far behind,snaring some valuble turnover penalties at breakdown,Sam Knock at halfback looked very classy,and will only improve with his time with the NZ under 20s,both teams swapped out at halftime,Northland HP played into a very strong wind in the 2nd half which only increased when strong shower which came in sideways and effected ball handling,Northland did open the scoring in the 2nd half with a try to Levi Clark after Matt Matich took a quick tap,however a few to many handling errors and penalties conceeded gave CM to much field position especially with a solid win behind them,which was a shame because Fijian flyer Erenimo Tau who played for South Canterbury in the heartland competion looked the most dangerous back on the field,stunning footwork,and burning pace,he scrambled well in defence,Levi Clark looked solid in the 15 jersey,i was very impressed with Peter Breen at first five,classy footballer,that seems to know how to navigate a team around the park,i was just dissapointed we did'nt get to see Solomon Alaimano on the right wing,who is a very big unit,with greatfoot work and pace.but the play simply did'nt go his way,in the forwards,Matt Matich was the standout,fearless wether carrying the ball or making tackles,Josh Goodhue.Jordon Olsen and Thomas Dwyer all had their moments,The scrum remained strong in the 2nd half,and got even stonger when Chris Apoua slotted into Tighead prop,however the penalties and handling errors during the middle stage of the 2nd half proved the difference,which CM took full advantage during that time,scoring 2 tries from forward drives close to the line,Northland did score a late unconverted try,but that was the way it ended 22-24,the main points coming out of this evening was the sild scrum set piece,and some of the attacking flare the Northland coaching staff had at their disposal,and congratulations to wellsford RFC for hosting the game,the upgraded floodlights were superb.

  • WTF was up with the jersies in the first half!! 


  • Any news on Tom Robinson?

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