2016 Northland Mitre 10 Cup Squad.



  • Just thought with the Northland Taniwha Squad due to be annouced this Wednesday,i would try and play selector,i suspect this team is reasonably straight for given there are already 21 x contracted players signed, i  have added in some other players whom i think are a lock in.
    The big surprise,pending a medical will be Dan Hawkins,i suspect to back up Peter Breen,but also to cover the vacant fullback position, Tom Halse who covers Fullback/1st Five and 2nd Five as well as kicks goals,also comes into the frame,and has had rep experience with Counties Manukau is an option.
    I'm picking this will be very close to the team that will be named on Wednesday,i have added some other names,with Troy Gilbert still battling a head concussion,Cherrington,Tua and Lama are the likely candidates,be interested to get others thoughts,
     
     
     
    Fullback    
    Dan Hawkins                                           Tom Halse
                                     
     
     
    Wings
     
    Jone Macilai                                            Levi Clark
    Wisea Lawabuca
    Solomon Alaimalo
     
    Midfield
    Warren Dunn                                           James Cherrington/Tamati Tua/Monty Lama
    Troy Gilbert
    Jordon Hyland
     
    First Fives
    Peter Breen                                           Tyler Landsdowne/Solomona Paraki
     
    Halfbacks
    Sam Nock 
    Malcolm Macleod
    Matty Marwick                                                                                                     
     
    Loose Fowards/No 8
     
    Jack Ram                                           Micheal Faleafa/Aorangi Stokes
    Kara Pryor
    Dan Pryor
    Matt Matich
     
    Locks
     
    Josh Goodhue
    Shane Neville
    Tom Robinson
    Sean Sweetman
     
    Props
     
    Phil Kite                                           Chris Apoua
    Howard Sililoto
    Namatahi Waa
    Matt Talaese
     
    Hookers
     
    Matt Moulds                                    Sesimani Tupou/Ben Tou,
    Jordon Olsen
    Ross Wright



  • Didn't realise we were so weak at fullback. Hopefully one of the young guys stands up as a midfield/ wing/ full back option so we have speed at the back. The first five options are ok but in today's game speed at fullback is such an advantage.
    What about Afamasaga from Mid Western in the midfield as well? Good to see some young Northland talent with a chance.



  • Love our loosies! If we can set a decent platform, jeez...there I go again getting excited again, must. STOP



  • What about Afamasaga from Mid Western in the midfield as well?.Did a Rupeni on us, didn't get on the plane back here after the Test window. Just went AWOL, even the Samoan Union didn't know where he was.
    Real shame that Guy Wood injured himself, he would have been the man for fullback I think. He's keen to hang around and play again next year, here's hoping it all works out.



  • actual squad named: 
     
    Definitely gonna miss Matt Wright looking at that...otherwise reasonably happy.

    All players are Northland based and, outside the Super players, play club rugby in Northland.
    Five Academy players have been included in order to further develop and to provide cover for injured players, returning Super players and players involved in club finals through the pre-season window.
    Name / Super Rugby Franchise (if applicable) / Northland Club / Caps for Northland
    Props
    Chris Apoua (Mid Northern 0)
    Phil Kite (OBM 0)
    Howard Sililoto (OBM 16)
    Matt Talaese (Wellsford 😎
    Namatahi Wa’a (Blues, Hikurangi 17)
    Sesimani Tupou (Academy, Otamatea 0)
    Hookers
    Matt Moulds (Blues, Otamatea 28)
    Jordan Olsen (Mid Northern 12)
    Ross Wright (Wellsford 63)
    Locks
    Josh Goodhue (United Kawakawa 7)
    Shane Neville (Otamatea 18)
    Tom Robinson (Western Sharks 0)
    Sean Sweetman (Wellsford 😎
    Josh Larsen (Academy, Mid Northern 0)
    Loose Forwards
    Michael Faleafa (Hikurangi 0)
    Matt Matich (Western Sharks 0)
    Dan Pryor (Highlanders, OBM 53)
    Kara Pryor (Blues, OBM 21)
    Jack Ram (Blues, Kerikeri 20)
    Aorangi Stokes (OBM 0)
    Epineri Uluviti (Academy, Awanui 0)
    Halfbacks
    Matty Markwick (OBM 0)
    Malcolm McLeod (Mid Northern 0)
    Sam Nock (Blues, Kerikeri 10)
    1st 5/8
    Peter Breen (Blues, OBM 0)
    Dan Hawkins (Rebels, Otamatea 30)
    Midfields
    Warren Dunn (Hora Hora 24)
    Troy Gilbert (OBM 20)
    Jordan Hyland (Otamatea 9)
    Tamati Tua (Hikurangi 0)
    James Cherrington (Academy, Mid Northern 0)
    Outside
    Solomon Alaimalo (Otamatea 0)
    Monty Lama (OBM 0)
    Waisea Lawebuka (Mid Northern 7)
    Jone Macilai (Crusaders, Awanui 19)
    Levi Clark (Academy, Mid Northern 0)
    Northland’s three pre season games include:
    North Harbour (North Harbour Stadium, Friday 29th July, 2:30pm KO)
    Bay of Plenty (Whakatane, Friday 5th August, 3:00pm KO)
    Counties / All Blacks (Pukekohe, Friday 12th August, 5:30pm KO)



  • FB a bit of a worry....
     
    so a starting 15 to look something like this:
     
    Waa, Moulds, Talease
    Goodhue, Neville
    Ram, Pryor, Pryor
    Nock, Breen
    Gilbert, Dunn
    Macilai, Hawkins??, Alaimalo
     
    Olsen, Sililoto, Tupou, Sweetman, Matich, McLeod, Hyland, Clark
     
    Bit of guessing for the bench...I'd like Clark to be good cos he got da wheels, but looks a bit small! 
     
    Pretty sure Robinson is a loosie/lock



  • Surprised that Manu isn't in the squad...
    I'm told he was cut to make way for Faleafa, who is so unfit he finished a beep test behind half of the props.
    We'll put out a decent 1-10 if everyone is fit. Outside of that I'm very worried, only class player is Macalai. Gilbert and Dunn have done ok without really setting the world on fire, but Dunn looked too slow last year, and hasn't got any faster from what I've seen in club footy.
    TRs favourite player is back too... What the fuck are they thinking?
    Tom Robinson will see plenty of game time from the bench I'd say - I believe he's on the Blues radar, providing he stays fit.



  • Agree with comments about our midfield. Last year our scrum was so poor they got not front foot ball but they do lack a bit of pace. But I missed the Auckland game where Dunn was the only knew that played well by all accounts.
    Maybe time to insert a few of the young guys especially at fullback.



  • Odd cos I thought Dunn looked a bit quicker last year, looked to have trimmed down from the year before where he looked like he'd been doing too many weights and not enough speed work.



  • Odd cos I thought Dunn looked a bit quicker last year, looked to have trimmed down from the year before where he looked like he'd been doing too many weights and not enough speed work.

    Settle down Jake



  • The midfield should go better this year playing outside a competent flyhalf



  • what I've seen of Breen so far, I like! 
     
    Hopefully he and Nock can combine well, if they do, Breen might even get a sniff at the Blues.
     
    If it is true the Chiefs are looking at Alaimalo, then FB is probably the biggest concern in the backs.



  • what I've seen of Breen so far, I like! 
     
    Hopefully he and Nock can combine well, if they do, Breen might even get a sniff at the Blues.
     
    If it is true the Chiefs are looking at Alaimalo, then FB is probably the biggest concern in the backs.

    For him to squeeze into a 3rd flyhalf position, at any franchise, I think he'd need to prove his utility value. He did play some games for Otago at 12 & 15 but I'd be disappointed if he spent any time away from 10 for Northland.
     
    He did play well for the Blues dev team which I saw him play. Although I think Gatland subbed on for him and made more of an impact. 
     
    I suspect McGahans spot in the Blues squad is under threat. So there's probably a contest between McGahan, Gatland, Breen and Fonoti



  • From what I heard, the Blues were keen on him, or at least keen to see how he goes, so will be a wait and see there, obviously how Northland goes will be a big factor for how he goes and vice versa.



  • Just before I give my ten cents worth,just some info on this kid,Epineri Uluviti (Academy, Awanui 0),came out to NZ a few years back with Fijian secondary schools team back in 2014,and then attended Rotorua Boys High,might be a bit of footage around from 2014 on utube,he's only young,around 19,but very sizeable,around 6 foot 4 or 5,is in the Academy,but I have been reliably informed he's one to watch in the future.
    On the squad it's,really excited to see two young midfielders in the mix,Tamati Tua is a great story,as a year ago,he was playing XV rugby at Kaitaia College,since then he's played for the Blues development team against the NZ Under 20 rugby team,made this years Mitre 10 cup squad and potentially could be playing against the All Blacks in a few weeks time,
    Along with Tua,is James Cherrington,a youngster as well,has played for Auckland Under 19,either last year or back in 2014,been told both boys have got good skill sets,and are both harty in contact,hopefully this will be a good learning year for both of these kids,if Tua can get some game time and impress,he is elidigble for NZ U20s next year,
    On the rest of the backline,really excited about seeing Solomon Alaimalo running around at Mitre 10 cup level,has been devasting at club level,has the potential to be next big thing out of Northland,hope I'm not jinxing him..!,also had the ability to play centre and fullback,very good skill set according to those in the know.
    Regarding the Unknown factors,the 2 back up halfbacks,Marwick and McLeod,have'nt heard the most flattering things regarding the quality of these 2 squad members,hopefully when they do get their chances,they make the most of it,in perfect world,Sam Nock stays fit.
    The other concern,like many of you posting,is Fullback,plenty of contenders,but one player,I reckon who has the skill set to play in the 15 jersey,is Troy Gilbert,played much of his junior rugby at the back,and has turned out for OBM over the last few years and has looked right at home,other options are Peter Breen,which means Dan Hawkins reverts back to first five,Hawkins is still awaiting a medical clearance from a recently completed operation on his back.
    May also be an opportunity for Levi Clark to step,I'm sure he will be given some game time in the warm up games,
    Not to much to be said,regarding the rest of the forwards selected,I'm picking the coaching staff has got this about right,some real up and comers,along with some guys with super rugby experience,our loosies look outstanding,only issue might what mix you would want to start with,it also might pay to check the new breakdown laws,having gone over them,you get the impression the jackler may be a thing of the past.
    Unlucky to miss out in my opinion,Ersnimo Tau from Waipu,may have paid the price for being played at centre,I believe he is close to the top try scorer in the club comp,along with Tom Halse,although depending on Hawkins fitness,Halse could be the first cab off the rack,
    Some really good news I have heard from the camp is,their is a ton work being put in on the scrum,and from all reports,you will see some dramatic improvement,the blues apparently were very complimentary,and some scrum experts have been supporting the team during the team training camps,also the build up,in terms of where they were last year,are poles apart,3 build games were played to find the squad,and of course 3 build up games to critique before the comp starts proper.



  • Lets hope Dans time I. Melbourne has made him a better player, cos him at 10 has me dreading the season already....what is it coaches see in him that I am missing?



  • The other little concern has been in and around Peter Breens goal kicking,whilst his general play has been first class,his goal kicking has been sub par,probably another reason Hawkins is still in the hunt,hopefully with a much better preparation across the board,we can see the best of Dan
    I thinks it's a case of the devil they know with Dan,let's look at what he does do well,Kicks goals and tackles,and has got experience,the reality is,if you look in the cupboard in the Northland area,it's pretty bare,like I said,it is depending on a medical,one guy who probably would have been a shoe in,if he attended the training camps is Ben Mather from Waipu,saw him playing for Waipu,looked really classy,playing first five,can also play fullback and halfback,I'm JacNath would agree with me.



  • It looks to be a decent squad on paper - especially in the forwards. I'm not getting too carried away though as I was expecting us to be good last season and we definitely weren't!
     
    On Hawkins and the fullback/first-five issue, why didn't we give Tyler Landsdowne another crack? Think he would have been a handy fullback option too if needed. Matt Wright definitely leaves a big hole. Can see the rationale behind bringing Hawkins back - they know what he can do and would be a solid guy to have on the bench.
     
    I like the idea of the academy players added to the squad and happy with most of the positions that are covered but would have thought focusing on positions we have been traditionally weak would've been a good bet. Think a young first-five academy player would have been a good idea.



  • Tua does look a good prospect, so would be a great story if he can make the cut this season!



  • Anyone watched much club rugby and can give a bit of a run down on some of the newbies.
     
    Mainly thinking guys like Apoua, Kite, Tupou, Larsen, Markwick, Mcleod, Tua, Cherrington, Lama, Alaimalo.
     
    Can obviously see their positions, but more of a rundown of what they're good at how they play etc
     
    On another note, I hope Michael Faleafa is a massive step up from Dan Faleafa...