@kev I honestly think both CTC and O'Donnell would be so much better if they were properly fit...I'd love for CTC to get really fit, he'd be a real weapon as a prop, love his work, but as it is I think his fitness causes lapses where he looks bloody strong at scrumtime, then gets demolished the next.
Got so excited about the game I forgot who played well - chose Murray for that sensational break, Reihana for the clutch kick and a good alround game, and the vision of Macilai steaming on to the ball on the break turning back the years was enough for 3rd. I think the loose forwards played well also. Couldn’t choose who.
Very entertaining game despite the incompetent refereeing. Trainor was the best Aukland player in a team which forgot to get out of its bus during the first 20 minutes, as the Frenchies say. I was impressed by Reihana. He's had his best NPC game ever. Murray is one to watch. He's only 19 and could develop into a very physical wing. He showed an impressive pace for his try. Great game from the Taniwha locks and loose forwards. They were into everything. As a neutral, I think the Taniwhas deserved the victory for the guts and passion they showed. A number of Auckland players looked desinterested at times.
@Duluth guess the only thing in Adams' favour is he was very low, but he only needed to set/drive, rather than blow over like that, it was only a half back 😉
@KiwiMurph I have no arguments, despite me not wanting it looked at, I think it warranted a look...am a bit surprised it only got an off-field Yellow, too, fortunately the 9 doesnt look like he suffered a head knock, so that is a positive!
To me Adam’s technique was pretty good, low and aggressive to a player looking to steal. The trouble is you have a small halfback going over the ball with head moving down and the clean out is risky because of that. To your point he probably only needed to set because it was a halfback but making that decision quickly when it could have been a loose forward is increasing the risk losing the contact. Looked worse than it was because he flattened him. If I am the coach I am wanting him to do that everyday of the week - just maintain his technique, stay low and try to avoid the head.
@taniwharugby I agree, can't believe he let them get away with that tap. Not sure the try that was ruled out by the TMO came from a pass that went forward out of the hand so swings and roundabouts, maybe...
We were right in line with that at the game. More obvious live than on replay because of camera angles. Definitely forward out of hand.
That said on balance Waikato should have put Northland away a lot earlier given set piece dominance so in the end result a fair reflection of game.
The bloke disguised as a referee has taken the whistle-friendly nature of his previous guise as a netball official into the rugby arena and the sport is far worse off because of it.
It was no coincidence that the biggest cheers of the afternoon were reserved for the big budget half-time show when injured Taranaki players hoofed the ball high into the grey sky as young boys tried to catch it.
It surely had more to do with the fact they did not have to see or hear Jono Bredin blowing into his whistle for a graceful 12 minutes than anything else.
The priority for me is to get Moorby signed for another couple of seasons at least. We can build a backline around that guy. Personally I think it’d be a bit shit of him to run off after one year, as it would all have seemed a waste of time getting him here in the first place. We need to match the offers that he’s getting from elsewhere and pay him what he wants. He’s that good..
As for the rest I agree with the list you guys have proposed to cut. Some of those blokes have been around a little too long for my liking, some have had varying degrees of success, while others just aren’t up to it.
Would love to see us continue to try and get guys like Corey Evans, Cook-Savage, Tamaiti Williams and Josh Beehre back home as well.. I know it won’t happen overnight, but we need to stabilise for the future. I know for a fact through a good source that Evans has strong ambitions to wear the Cambridge Blue.
Looking forward to seeing who the candidates are for the head coach role next year. I hope we attract some decent names, as I really think that’s the crucial missing link right now. I think we need a bit of a clean out there, bar perhaps Veale who showed he at least has some ideas..well early on anyway.
As for the last few weeks I really hope Cam Bell has a closed door meeting with the team and management, and sets a higher standard heading into the last two matches. The guys need a fire lit under their asses and we need to bring back what we saw in rounds 1-5.
Why were players not fit. why were the young guys not aware of what it takes. All on the top staff.
All the article says is that I didn’t do my job. It’s like the season is a surprise and we just show up and do a few laps round the field to work out where everyone is at. Who sets the expectations and monitors progress prior to the season starting? The Coach. He should have been all over that.
Bunnings Warehouse NPC and Heartland Championship Update
The Bunnings Warehouse NPC match between Bay of Plenty and Northland, scheduled to be played at Tauranga Domain at 2.05pm this Sunday, will be postponed.
After consulting with their playing groups, both unions agreed it did not feel appropriate to play on the day of Sean Wainui’s tangi.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is working with the Bay of Plenty and Northland unions to reschedule the match, which had been scheduled to be played and will announce details in due course.
Additionally, as a sign of respect to Sean and his whānau NZR have asked the rugby community to come together to acknowledge Sean’s life prior to all Bunnings Warehouse NPC and Heartland Championship matches this weekend.
Players, coaches, managers and match officials will be wearing black armbands and Sean will also be acknowledged via a special tribute and moment's silence prior to each match this weekend.
@muddyriver yeah I think it was pretty clear last year this coaching team left alot to be desired, and this year has emphasised it, then there is the selection of players who have shown they are not up to this level over and over.
I think there are big gaps in other areas of Northland development too, I've said before, if my son was in the position to choose, I'd be reluctantly guiding him to another province (probably Auckland or Canterbury) to further his career.
@j77 the gutting thing for me is that over the past 5 or 10+ years, we have shown glimpses of what we are capable of, yet we simply dont kick on.
It is like our Coaches/Board are happy with mediocrity, although, most of the time, we are under that.
We have so many talented kids coming out of our region, but with our poor coaching and lack of success of getting only the very best into super teams, why would a young kid with a big future come back here?
ALready heard of a Northland kid out of St Kents who has been picked up by one of the crusaders vaccums, then you look over the Auckland side and see there are 3 or 4 from up here, even the b side there are more again...guys we could desperately use.
Sure we get some of Aucklands overflow too, but often they are surplus for a reason.
If my kid was looking at signing with an NPC team, I'd be steering him toward another province...I'd hate that!
THis new HP Centre will be great, but if we cant match it with on field performance, it will be pointless.
While it was great to make the final last year, for me, it was the worst thing that could happen, it papered over the huge cracks in our coaching team, and squad selection.
I think a few players may have rested on thier laurels form last year, but equally, the coaches need to take the heat for not looking at the squad and seeing the gaps.
The only real ones they plugged were Reihana and Hallam-Eames, and he was only a last minute one, so probably more luck than good planning.
As I said to @Steven-Harris he needs to get on the NRU books as a scout in the Auckland and NH comps, he watches a ton more rugby than most, is passionate about his Union, and like me, I bet he'd do it for free too!
When you look at our squad, they have the core of a very good side, one that could be knocking at the top 4 side in the Premiership with Olsen, Goodhue, Caird, Robinson, Nock, Gregory, Tua (if he werent made of glass) and then build around them, add the likes of Hyland, Hallam-Eames, Macilai, Wright, Rush, Pryor and there is no reason why we should not be finals contendors in the Championship, pushing for promotion, but it is the average players they put elsewhere and lack of preparation, coaching, and we have 2 50 pointers over us and 2 red cards in 2 weeks...
@taniwharugby just off the team sheets , don’t really know her by face ..interesting on the boy Colt Edwards who played in the colts game, he might be heading to Waikato to study , hope we are all this
A 5 try burst 10 minutes either side of halftime by the Blues under 20 team was enough to see off a plucky Northland Future Taniwha team 38-17 played at Onewa Domain in Takapuna on Saturday
The Blues Under 20s had a point to prove after being held to a 24 all draw by the Taniwha in the previous fixture , but it was the visitors who would score in the first 2 minutes after an impressive lineout drive and maul , Mason Hohaia picking up the try and Johnny Cooper adding the extras .
Unlike a week ago when the Taniwha dominated at set piece scrum and with possession, it would be the Blues that would dominate possession for much of the 1st half , The Taniwha showing some incredible resilience on defence especially Manny Snooks despite taking a stinger on the shoulder early in the game featuring.
Isi Manu who started at number 8 for the unavailable Sam McNamara was once again a handful in both attack and defence for the Taniwha .
The set piece scrum was solid , but the issue for the Taniwha was most of the game was being played in their own half and the other issue being the quick ball being supplied to the Blues outside backs was creating problems for the defence.
The pressure and possession finally told in the 20th Minute , with the Blues crossing from close range and then adding another 2 tries 10 minutes before halftime .
The Taniwha went into the break 7-21 down with the very real prospect of the hosts posting a large score line and that danger became even more apparent when the Blues introduced 4 Blues squad members in the 2nd half , Taine Plumtree , Emoni Narawa ,Jacob Ratumaitavuki Neepkins and Tanielu Tele’a into the frame , and it would be 3 of this group of players who would feature in the next 3 tries all scored in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half ..Plumtree throwing a superb offload for one of the wingers to score , and then he was the recipient of an offload himself and finally Neepkins scoring off a Narawa break after a Northland turnover.
At 7-38 down and 30 minutes still left on the clock , it took a few reassuring words from Taniwha head coach George Konia to his charges to sting them into action ,the words had the desires effect with a slight change of tactics using their ball runners to punch holes closer to the rucks .
With Elsie Fono and Kaliopasi Uluilakepa starting to monster their opposites at scrum time setting a much needed attacking platform giving both Jayden Kemp and Brody Tamarua at 9 and 10 an opportunity to showcase their skills .
Kemp looks a really good prospect for the future and Tamarua who plays for Te Rarawa and has come from rugby league has a very good skill set.
Rob Rush who plays with plenty of physicality crashed over after some good work and Felix Rayasi after some excellent ball movement out to the flank touched down for the Taniwha’s 3rd try
For the Futures Taniwha , full credit to Kaliopasi Uluilakepa who played out the entire 80 minutes , Isi Manu on the back of these 2 games has sent a clear message to the Northland coaches that he is the right condition to go to the next level .
Terepai King who has put on 10kgs since last year has also impressed over the last 2 weeks with his lineout work and his effort around the paddock complimenting what will be his locking team mate at Mid Northern Allan Craig for this upcoming 2021 club season.
Not the result the team wanted , but it has been great seeing the next group of young Taniwha players pitting themselves against quality opposition over these last 2 weeks and it would not surprise me if several don’t force their way in the 2021 Northland Mitre 10 Cup squad if they can maintain and improve during the season.
Northland Future Taniwha 17 (3 x tries Hohaia,Rush,Rayasi,con:Cooper)
Blues 20s 38 (6 x tries, 4 x con)
H/T 7-21 Blues 20s
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa has been really impressive in these 2 fixtures, with both his scrummaging and work around the paddock, incredible ball skills for a big man , could develop very nicely into a Charle Famauina type player ..
Had a good chat to Pasi, great kid with an even better attitude
Leka Tuangafasi. I suspect will also be right in contention for a mitre 10 cup contract along with Isi Manu who was an absolute beast at number 8 , finally Northland may have a number 8 that’s gives them gainline..
Was also really impressed with Terepai King , has stuck on 10 kgs and if he can keep developing is probably an outside chance for a Mitre 10 contract .
Now that I have sat back and had really good think about what’s ahead for the Taniwha in 2021.
My first wish is to get both of our 2 main props Luatangi Li and Corey Te Whata Colley much fitter, after watching the NZ Maori Mana Pacifica game , I could not help but be impressed with how much tackling both of the starting props for the NZ Maori got through .., not much got past Josh Hohneck or Pouri Rakete Stones..
With Kalolo Tuiloma unlikely to be seen at the Taniwha in 2021, it’s important that we find a prop who has got experience and more importantly can scrum ..Tyler Learns is the fittest of all the props including Ross Wright, but has question marks over his scrummaging, in saying that , still worth persisting with given he’s been part of the squad in 2020..
Hooker is an interesting one ..Jordon Olsen is the number 1 , and I suspect by daylight , not sure what Paddy Joe Atkins is doing in 2021, and his fitness did fall away , but he is a very good scrummager and would be an ideal back up but only If fit ..
I would love to see Campbell Mathews bought back into the frame , he was part of the Northland set up a few seasons back ,was on a PUDC if I recall , saw very little game time , but hopefully is still in Northland , has good size and ball carrying ability..
We will definitely have to replace Sam Caird ,and Temo Mayanavanua this is a tough one ..not entirely sure where we go here ..Setafano Funaki who was in the development squad is handy as cover especially on the bench , but it’s tough one ..I know they are looking at a Super Rugby quality lock , but those come at a price ..
Allan Craig has been selected , and whilst he is young , I think it’s import that we play him regardless of his age ..
In terms of the loose forwards , I am reasonably happy in this area , if we can secure Kara Pryor again , we have able back up in the number 7 jersey with Kane Jacobson & Saimoni Uluinakauvadra..
Number 8 is an interesting one , do we stick with what we have got ..?given we failed to pick up Simon Parker or do we go local and bring in former Fijian under 20 skipper Raikabula Moedonudonu from Waipu who was training with the squad in the back end of the season ..
I am quite happy to go local , and I would not be too critical of the coaches if they were tread that particular path..
It’s great other work horses like McNamara & Matich in the squad along with Rob Rush who looks promising.
Just on our forwards , I really do think we should need to seek out some technical support no disrespect to Graham who played international rugby ..there were times we struggled to give a really good platform at scrum time for our backs , the Harbour & Tasman games come to mind ..that’s it for this evening , I will have a think about the backs , definitely more to consume in this area..
Very good article written by Herchel Fruen a couple of years back..
the amount of schoolboy talent that comes out of Northland and ends up in other provinces is staggering ...
If they can find away to polish this talent , anything is possible .
Belated congratulations to the hawkes Bay, despite there being nothing to like about your union since Ian MacRae,(another poach from the West Coast!😜) retired. Fittingly the same nickname as the most beloved AFL team.
Nah, Fair dues played really good rugby and have a log to look at. Deserved victors, and a great season, you strange fucks 😉