@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 😉
@Steven-Harris yeah most of our props are the weak links in our pack, in that thier fitness leaves alot to be desired which affects thier decision making and execution (penalties, defensive lapses, hands)
@Chiefy07 I am not sure we would have won with Hawkins. We would have won with a first five eight that kicks well and leads the team around the park. Hawkins kicks have no length, he takes ages to wind up and kick and has been charged down this year because of it. I prefer Wiseguy to him because he carries at the line better. However that said Wiseguy and Johnny also need to work on their kicking games. I think thy both have more upside.
@taniwharugby we just want to see a sign that the team has a plan, executes and gets better. Bryce Woodward teams did that. We didn’t win competitions but they were teams that competed and at times played some wonderful rugby with the players they had. We need to get better and we have some exciting young talent so let’s make use of it.
Jeez naki and southland losing handed northland a lifeline for a top 4...we could still crawl in with no additional points with Southland needing to win both games to get past us (we are unlikely to get any v Auckland) but ideally picking some up in Kaikohe would be a great boost before heading south to a semi.
@Duluth yup, not gonna be easy, made tougher by the limp performance on Friday.
Otago have a tough run in too, Cant (A) SOuthland (A) Tasman (H)
Reckon Southland have probably the best run in, Manawatu (A) Otago (H), Counties (H)
Depending on naki's result today, they finish with Counties (H) Manawatu (A) HB (H)
Potentially be tight for 2nd-5th (although Otago in the box seat for 2nd) with HB pretty much sealed as top
Liking Leliua this year, just finding it frustrating how we fail to get good clean ball across to him, Macilai and Hyland etc. Do that and we’ll start splitting teams open. A lot of this stems from 10 and 12 in my opinion. Changes need to happen here. Give Cooper a crack for starters.
plenty of contendors today, but I reckon the work and go forward of Goodhue, Robinson and Olsen was key.
Kara Pryor was good over the ball again, probably in some of his best form, Nock is starting to look the part, although would like him to run a bit more and keep his hands off the ball until he knows what he is upto, Ross Wright looked good when he came on too
That last 30 was one of the better periods of rugby we have put together for a long while...
4 away wins from 31 now
Bang on. If a I could have voted for four Ross would have picked it up. Not sure if it was just him, but after the Ranger intercept it was great see our scrum and forwards take control of the game.
@kev yeah I feel that FB gives him too much time to think about what he is about to do, he seems to work better with less time when playing more on instinct, that said, I'd say his confidence probably isnt where it needs to be right now either, which is why a stint on the wing, and then moving in later in the game might be best for him
Some interesting first up results ..
Looks like it might be more of a learning year for newly promoted team Ngāti Hine Moerewa/Uk..apparently they have lost Justin Davies,Warren Dunn and Paora Allen to HoraHora which is a bit of a shame but great news for HH who have also gained Kara Pryor who will pack down in the back row with Jacob Matiu and the very promising rangy loose forward Tiaki Smith ...HH could be a bit of a dark horse if they can keep everyone in the paddock ..hard to know how good Western Sharks were given whom they were up against ..
Just chatting to a contact that was at the KeriKeri v Mid Northern game , a good tight contest that saw a very big crowd from up..
Some good news for Taniwha supporters with Wiseguy Faiane deciding to put his head down ,and a genuine crack at the Northland Taniwha team , has returned to Waipu ..
Wellsford had a very good team on paper against Waipu , but according to reports , tried to go wide without getting right up front first ..
An interesting newcomer to OBM will be big number , Isileli Manu, younger brother of Pauliasi Manu ..very sizeable human being.
The irony there is he seemed to be made of glass in Super rugby haha!
Yeah I mentioned the players we are missing above being a factor, and maybe the expectation has been the newbies will be able to execute plans they had when they were anticipating our 'best' players would have been available.
I think the coaches need to take some of the heat, they provide the gameplans, conditioning (coaching group) culture etc...seems there is a bit wrong at present.