Some great news to start the new season for Taniwha supporters with some positive signings
Southland fullback and new Hurricanes signing Josh Moorby has been signed by the Taniwha .
This will put smiles on a few die hards faces as fullback has been a real area of concern since Solomon Alaimalo moved on after the 2017 season.
Tight head prop Chris Apoua has decided to move home and link up with the Taniwha after an impressive season with the Southland Stags which also saw Apoua recruited into the newly formed Moana Pacifika super franchise.
Halfback Lasito Milo Harris has also signed with the Taniwha .
Harris who has had provincial time with Auckland,Taranaki & Southland along with a stint with the Chiefs in 2020 will add some real depth to a position the Taniwha have struggled to fill in the past 2 seasons .
Harris is also part of the current Blues wider training squad.
Former Blues & Northland skipper Matt Moulds returns to the Taniwha after a stint in the UK with Worcester Warriors & Gloucester .
Moulds will be hoping to add to his 54 games that he played in between 2013-2019.
Like the halfback and fullback positions ,hooker has also been a problem area in terms of backup suitability.
Moulds will add plenty of experience in this position especially if the reports regarding Jordon Olsen taking a break for family reasons in the 2022 season are correct
Blues under 20 and Auckland centre Heremaia Murray returns north at the perfect time especially with Scott Gregory calling time at the Taniwha .
Gregory who debuted for the Taniwha in 2018 ,also making the NZ under 20s in 2018 & 2019 and the Highlanders in 2020 is linking up with the Southland Stags in 2022.
Up to 20 players including the names mentioned have been signed for the 2022 season ,at this stage I will sit on these names as they will be made more public in the coming weeks..
@bovidae I suspect we may even see Dale McLeod return to Northland in 2023 which will fit right in along aside his 2nd year at Moana Pasifika
I know Dale is massive fan of the region ,the lifestyle and the untapped talent that the region produces but not always gets right in terms for filling potential.
I see Moulds is off to the US for MLR, with San Diego Legion.
I'm a little annoyed about Gregory, can't help but think a small part must be due to the way he has been fucked around up here, wing, fullback, centres, bench...but I believe there were other reasons too.
Certainly promising signs for Northland, be keen to see who they get in as assistant coach (well backs) but I still feel some of the issues start with Konia, so unless he has learnt and able to change from the last few seasons, having a squad of good players won't make.alot of difference.
@dice totally agree, i had been sitting on the Moorby signing since before xmas ..great to have 23 players already signed .
Still require another
Another 2 more loose forwards including a specialist 7,
Like the look of both Rory Woods who was excellent for the Northland futures team on the weekend , i also have a ton of time for Matt Matich , you know what you get with Matt, hes a consumate proffessional especially when it comes to team work ethic ..
Inoke Tauvatu is dynamic with with ball in hand , is currently in the futures team and was consistant for the Western Sharks in 2021
Rikabula Moemoedonu ..was in the squad last year , cat say i am a fan
at least 2 more props including a specialist tighthead prop esepicially with Coree Te Whata Colley now out the picture given his anti vax stance , Kaliopasi Uluilapeka who is with the Fiji drua even he has got his weight down to 140 kgs would be a huge risk when it comes to ongoing conditioning.
2 hookers ,great to see Matt Moulds return,Jordon Olsen likely to be taking the season off which leaves an opportunity for Bruce Kauika Peterson who has transfered from Wellington .
Dynamic with ball in hand and throws great darts and an opportunity for a young guy.
Another halfback ,opportunity for a 3rd halfback , those in the mix Tom Strachan and Kane Pomare who are both in the Northland futures team and Jaden Kemp who is returning from injury
Another 1st five , 2 in the mix Johnny Cooper who i hope gets a contract ,the option could from club but i am hearing Jock McKenzie could be loaned from Auckland
Another midfielder given that Scott Gregory has transfered to the Southland Stags , would love to see Northland look at Himi Manuel who is in the Northland Futures team , also Kalani Going has got himself in fantastic shape and was superb for the Futures team on the weekend..
Other option , but i know several Northland supporters on this thread will have kittens ..Blake Hohaia, me personally , i think its time to move on ..
At least 2 wings .will have a think about this one , can think of at least 4 wingers who are all local .
great to see Matt Moulds return
Apparently injuries screwed up his chances in the UK
This from the Worcester Warriors site:
A knee injury, which required surgery, delayed Moulds' Warriors debut which came as a replacement in the European Challenge Cup in Castres in November 2019. Moulds' Gallagher Premiership debut came the following week - also off the bench - against Sale Sharks at Sixways with his first start coming against Dragons in the European Challenge Cup in December 2019. Moulds captained Warriors for the first time in the Premiership match against Gloucester at Kingsholm in December 2019 and was appointed Team Captain in the summer of 2020. A combination of foot and hamstring injuries ruled Moulds out of the entire 2020/21 season and he left Sixways in the summer of 2021.
@machpants ha...I thought he was already signed, last year or even late 2020?
Nope there was just talk. All irrelevant anyway, don't even see ABs, but Stan obviously had money to burn & bad rep to bury
I think you've got the wrong Semenoff...
@steven-harris I just wish they'd waited until at least midway through the club season to sign Hawkins again...I feel for Cooper.
You really have to ask yourselves about our coaches. Couldn’t believe this. Leopards don’t change their spots and on this signing alone you wonder about our Coaching setup for 2022. On this forum there has been talk that Hawkins runs trainings etc. Our backs have been dreadful, near incompetent. Then you watch Gregory running around for the Highlanders it’s like night and day - and you wonder about inability to select and develop players.
I love Hawkins commitment to the team, courage on defence and he has experience, but he is slow speed wise and with his kicking game which lacks distance, and runs sideways for his first few steps.
The worst thing is we take Reihana or Cooper and put them at fullback leaving Hawkins at 1st….please no.
As to loan players from Auckland. Call time on this - come play for us and earn your stripes. None of this last minute call up from Auckand. Build a team.
Northland club draw which starts from the later date of 23/04 (think it was due to start this weekend or last weekend originally)
Just 1 full round of everyone playing one another once, then semis and finals.
Pick of the opening round will be last year's beaten finalists Mid Northern vs Old Boys-Marist, who were knocked out in the semis last year, but have been in the top 4 the past 3 years I think.
Several teams have picked up a few good players in the off season, and I know plenty have been putting in the work too.
Really looking forward to watching some club footy again!!
@tim Northland have contracted 28 players only 7 spots to fill,1 x hooker,1 x prop,3 x loose forwards,1 x halfback and 1 outside back
I'm still pretty dark about 2 of those 28 being signed before club footy, on the fence for a couple others too.
As to the other spots, I'd let the hooker one go to Wright, and the prop, either Davies (who I know has been working his arse off in the off-season and in good shape) or a young buck that comes through.
3 loosies is tough, ideally Matich, Matiu and another, unsure if there are any big munters at 8 out there.
No idea on the 3rd 9, are a few that have been knocking about for a couple of seasons now, but not had alot of chances and when given, havtn taken them as well as they could have.
An outside, again, no idea, but Aseri Vatuinaruku would be top of mind for me (unsure if he is about still though)
The Semco Northland Taniwha have retained Johnny Cooper (First Five), Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Prop), Blake Hohaia (Midfield), recruited Bruce Kauika-Petersen (Hooker) and Jarred Adams (Prop) for the 2022 NPC Season.
Johnny Cooper (14 caps) and Blake Hohaia (39 caps) have been retained in 2022 after an impressive continuing off-season programme. Both players bring experience and will be looking for a strong start for their respective club teams in Northland.
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (9 caps) is a regular starter in Super Rugby Pacific for the Fijian Drua, playing both sides of the scrum for an ever improving Drua team who are in their first year of the competition.
Bruce Kauika-Petersen had relocated from Wellington in February where he has had two years NPC experience with The Lions. Bruce has had injury cover opportunities with The Blues and Hurricanes in 2022.
Jarred Adams is currently playing Top League 3 in Japan for the Manukata Sanix Blues and will join the HP squad in mid June. Recruited as a prop who can comfortably play both sides of the scrum Jarred has had previous NPC experience with Auckland and Manawatu.
In total 28 players have been contracted for the 2022 NPC season with further contracts open through the Northland club season which kicks off on the 23rd April.
Northland Rugby 2022