Mitre 10 Cup - news, injuries etc



  • i saw so little last year i forgot we made the semis. With a shit record though? wiki tells me 4 and 6, with some kickings.
     
    but only just lost our semi.
     
    was last year with the really really dumb, late loss to HB? I remember a game in teh last couple of years where we were in front, and then gave it up with some of the dumbest rugby in history.



  • Rugby: Make or break season for hopeful Harbour
    By Campbell Burnes
    3:07 PM Tuesday Jul 26, 2016
    It's Championship semifinals or bust for North Harbour.But third year coach Steve Jackson believes he has the squad to do it, despite budget restrictions meaning he cannot fully contract more than 29 players, two of whom are the long-term injured midfielders Pita Ahki and Rene Ranger.
    "We definitely believe that we can make the semis. It was disappointing the last two years that we couldn't make it, missing out by a point here and there," says Jackson, whose side placed fifth in the Championship in 2014-15, with three wins in each season.
    Now is the time to up the ante, and the early signs are promising. He has a new coaching lieutenant in Daniel Halangahu, who played the last of his 17 games for the union as a No 10 just last year. The former Waratah replaces Alex O'Dowd as backs coach, the latter about to take up a post at England's Nottingham club.
    "Dan was the best candidate for the job at the interview process, regardless of whether he played for us last year. We both think the same. I play the bad cop now and then, but he's a good calming voice behind me. He runs all our attack and he's got my full support. I think he'll do a fantastic job," says Jackson. "I joked to him that if anyone goes down, he'll have to jump on the field and play."
    Funnier things have happened in rugby.
    While there is disappointment that Ahki (shoulder) and Ranger (knee) will not play, that will mean last season's find Michael Little, starved of any Blues action, and Matt Vaega, should have the inside running. There are two youngsters nipping at their heels, though, in the North Shore midfield combination of James Little, still just 18, cousin of Michael, and Daniel Hilton-Jones.
    Outside back Marty Swart returns from two years of injury issues. Bryn Gatland, signed from Waikato, and Matt McGahan will battle for the No 10 jersey.
    "We understand that Matt can play in other positions. He wants to play 10 and we'll give him an opportunity in pre-season to battle it out with Bryn," says Jackson.
    Competition for places looks to be more intense this season.
    "Chris Smylie and Bryn Hall will be going hammer and tongs and right across the park. Reputations don't mean anything."
    Smylie finished a contract with Treviso in Italy in May and was keen to return to where it all started for the veteran in 2002.
    "When Chris touched base earlier in the year and he said he was available, we jumped at the opportunity. He's 34 but he's in the same condition as a 20-year-old. He wants to give back to the union," Jackson says.
    The return of No 8 Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a from a shoulder injury suffered in the New Zealand Under 20s' campaign is imminent. Newcomers in the pack include loose forwards Kane Jacobson from Waikato, the elder of the Jacobson loosies, and Josh Tyrell, both of whom have been outstanding in helping Takapuna to its first premier club final in seven years. Former All Blacks Sevens rep Murphy Taramai can play more than one position in the loose trio.
    While James Parsons, Bryn Hall and Tevita Li had heavy workloads with the Blues, several others from the franchise saw little to no game time, so should be jumping out of their skins. Into this category fall McGahan, Little, outside backs Matt Duffie and Afa Fa'atau, and lock Gerard Tuioti-Mariner, who will be keen to reproduce his consistent 2015 form for Harbour which won him a Blues' contract.
    Missing from the 2015 group include Hayden Triggs and Nafi Tuitavake, both overseas, and Jordan Manihera, who is in Waikato.
    Jackson says prolific Massey club wing Mark Telea, who led all premier tryscorers with 12 this season, was unlucky, but he is on the fringes and will train with the squad in pre-season. North Shore No 8 So'otala Fa'aso'o, a 2012 NZ Schools captain, who scored eight tries for his club, missed the cut and was duly snapped up by Counties Manukau.
    "You can't take three No 8s. I wish Sooty all the best. As a coach, you want to promote all your players and see them succeed," Jackson says.
    He was very impressed with the quality of club rugby this season, and this has made his job easier when contracting players, such as East Coast Bays pro Toketa Fatai, straight out of the premier competition.
    "Our club season has been one of the best I've ever seen and that's even when I was a player here. Look at the final, going into extra time."
    The level of co-operation between the clubs and rep programme, so evident in 2016, has not always been so smooth in the past at the union.
    "Our premier coaches and clubs have been outstanding in adopting the new rules for the second round, and so have our refs," Jackson says.
    "The players are a good, hard-working group who have been in good club form and we think they will adapt to the new rules and get on with the job."
    Pre-season games are slated for this Friday (Northland), August 5 (Auckland) and August 11 (Hawke's Bay) before North Harbour opens the Mitre 10 Cup with an August 18 Thursday night home crossover fixture against Counties Manukau.
    Getting off to a winning start, not Harbour's forte in recent seasons, will be paramount. Of course, there is the added carrot of a round two Ranfurly Shield challenge in Waikato. Two Premiership opponents in the first nine days will be instructive.



  • Is Josh Larsen related to Blair Larsen ?



  • Canterbury training squad from June, sans NZ U20s, Super Rugby players and injuries:

    The players selected for the initial Wider Training Group are:
    Forwards
    Kalolo Otutaha (Christchurch)
    Carisbrook To’omalatai (New Brighton)
    Samu Tawake (Sumner)
    Oli Jager (New Brighton)
    Tom Crozier (Sumner)
    Nick Werahiko (Lincoln University)
    Jack Powell (Lincoln University)
    Jonno Osbourne (Lincoln University)
    Sam Godwin (University)
    Dylan Nel (Sumner)
    Billy Harmon (New Brighton)
    Jordan Stewart  (Linwood)
     Backs
    Ere Enari (Lincoln University)
    Jack Stratton (Lincoln University)
    Finlay Christie (University)
    Josh McKay (Lincoln University)
    Brett Cameron (Lincoln University)
    Inga Finau (Christchurch)
    Poasa Waqanibau (Sumner)
    Harrison Groundwater (Lincoln University)
    Nigel Gibb (University)
    Milford Keresoma (Sydenham)
    Marshall Suckling (Sumner)
    Mark Maitland (Waihora)
     
    Some players have not been named due to injuries.
     New Zealand 20’s
    Sean Paranihi (Sumner)
    Hamish Dalzell  (Lincoln University)
    Jordie Barrett  (Lincoln University)
    Caleb Makene (Lincoln University)

    To a full squad could be added:
     
    Props
     
    Franks
    Moody
    Crockett
    Faletau
    Tokolahi
    Hodgman
    Leinert-Brown
     
    Hookers
     
    Taylor
    Funnell
    Robinson
     
    Locks
     
    Whitelock
    Romano
    Barrett
    Manning
    Dunshea
    Bird
     
    Loose forwards
     
    Read
    Todd
    Whitelock
    Brown
    Sanders
    Princep (if fit)
     
    Halfbacks
     
    Drummond
    Fukofuka
     
    First-fives
     
    Mo'unga
     
    Midfield
     
    Crotty
    Thompson
    Goodhue
     
    Outside backs
     
    McNicholl
    Osborne
    Tulolo
    Laulala
    Apa



  • Halfbacks
     
    Drummond
    Fukofuka

    He's still with Auckland.. was named in the squad last week



  • Halfbacks
     
    Drummond
    Fukofuka

    Fukofuka is named in the Auckland squad



  • Luteru Laulala is with Counties(see first page). And Apa is now with Waikato.



  • Tulolo Tulolo hasn't played club rugby this year (assuming he's moved on), and Sione Faletau is at Counties.



  • Deleted post



  • Makos have apparently signed a Scottish ginga former gymnast as a development player at halfback - a stepping stone to supplanting Drummond?
     
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/sport/82523852/christchurch-club-rugby-standout-finlay-christie-signs-for-tasman-makos
     
    Seen this guy play, Sammy?
     
    Not much other news coming from the Makos squad. Earlier they said they'd signed all their current Super players plus Zac Guildford. Since then, however, it sounds like Quentin MacDonald is off before the season starts. Liam Squire is a good chance of being with the ABs, maybe James Lowe could be - there was also talk of him needing shoulder surgery. A few like Halanukonuka, Perry and Geldenhuys on the injured list.
     
    Keane usually came up with a few signings from left field, so will be interesting to see whether Leon continues that tradition.
     
    There's a heap of defections lining up for next year, so if we're going to win a trophy with this generation of players, it's now or never.
     
    First up game is Waikato in Blenheim - give us a Shield Challenge you selfish and cowardly Mooloo fluffybunnys!   🙂



  • Makos have apparently signed a Scottish ginga former gymnast as a development player at halfback - a stepping stone to supplanting Drummond?
     
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/sport/82523852/christchurch-club-rugby-standout-finlay-christie-signs-for-tasman-makos
     
    Seen this guy play, Sammy?
     
    Not much other news coming from the Makos squad. Earlier they said they'd signed all their current Super players plus Zac Guildford. Since then, however, it sounds like Quentin MacDonald is off before the season starts. Liam Squire is a good chance of being with the ABs, maybe James Lowe could be - there was also talk of him needing shoulder surgery. A few like Halanukonuka, Perry and Geldenhuys on the injured list.
     
    Keane usually came up with a few signings from left field, so will be interesting to see whether Leon continues that tradition.
     
    There's a heap of defections lining up for next year, so if we're going to win a trophy with this generation of players, it's now or never.
     
    First up game is Waikato in Blenheim - give us a Shield Challenge you selfish and cowardly Mooloo fluffybunnys!   🙂

    I like that signing, if Robertson isn't going to reward club form then I'm glad the Makos are.
     
    There's a couple more blokes who were up near the top of the Hawkins medal list that deserve a shot too.
     
    I actually haven't seen University play this year so can't offer an opinion on him. Pretty sure my old man has though, so I'll ask him.



  • i saw so little last year i forgot we made the semis. With a shit record though? wiki tells me 4 and 6, with some kickings.
     
    but only just lost our semi.
     
    was last year with the really really dumb, late loss to HB? I remember a game in teh last couple of years where we were in front, and then gave it up with some of the dumbest rugby in history.

    No last year was unlucky and slightly contentious although most mid-ranking teams usually combine the sublime and dumb fairly easily. In the Schuler years, we made a habit of dumb defeats on the rare occasions we weren't being humped.
     
    So 4-6 last season wasn't great but it was much better than 6-24 for the previous 3 seasons.



  • Is Josh Larsen related to Blair Larsen ?

    Not sure if related, but dad is Andy and he was born in Canada
     
    http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/391628/rugby-former-eel-makes-northland-squad

    Former Taieri Eels rugby player Josh Larsen is looking forward to pulling on the Cambridge blue jersey of Northland after being selected in its national provincial championship Mitre 10 Cup squad for 2016.
    The 22-year-old, who plays lock, played three years for the Eels while studying at the University of Otago from 2012 to 2015. He has since graduated and moved back to his hometown, Paihia.
    "I'm very honoured to be picked for Northland,'' Larsen said.
    "I grew up here in the province and still remember going to Okara Park as a youngster watching the Cambridge blue. So to be in the squad now is very special.''
    Making the squad had taught him that hard work paid off.
    "Northland being such a large region, and with my home in Paihia being roughly an hour out of the main area of Whangarei, it has been a lot of work and effort and driving to and from training.
    "I was fortunate enough at the start of the year to be involved in the academy up here and then from there really worked on my strength and conditioning as well as my form in club rugby.
    "It was all done with huge support from my father, Andy.''
    While he hoped to take the field for Northland, he was focused on improving himself and learning from the rest of the squad.
    "If I got a game against Otago down south it would be a dream, as I am still very close to the deep South and have some really close friends there.
    "But I am just taking it day by day for now.''
    His highlights while playing for the Eels were making his premier debut against the Kaikorai Rugby Football Club and being a part of the side's run to the final last year.
    The highlights of his rugby career so far were making the Canada Under-20 team - he was born in Canada - and making the Otago B squad last year.
    "The main highlight now would be this year with the Northland Mitre 10 Cup squad.''



  • Otago and Southland had a pre-season hit-out on the weekend.
     
    Sassanechs(Otago) 41 - 19 Spartans(Southland)
     
    Sassanechs scorers: Josh Casey, Dillon Hunt, George Bower, Kyle Harris, Josh Ioane, Jonathan Ruru, Thomas Umaga-Jensen tries; Casey 2 con, Ruru con
     
    Spartans scorers: DJ Collier, Keanu Kahukura, Tino Mafoe tries; D'Angelo Leuila con, Mafoe con
     
    Halftime: Sassenachs 19 - 12
     
    Match Report: http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/391422/rugby-coach-pleased-performance-sassenachs
     
    Line-ups:
    Sassenachs(Otago): Mitchell Scott, Fa'asui Fuitai, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Wilson, Josh Ioane, Josh Walden (captain), Sione Teu, James Lentjes, Adam Knight, Sione Misoli, Tom Rowe, Mike Mata'afa, Sam Sturgess, Craig Miller. Reserves: Angus Williams, Sekonaia Pole, George Bower, Dillon Hunt, Ben Whale, Kyle Harris, Charles Elton, Jonathon Ruru, Josh Casey, Hemaua Semasoni, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Josh Gordon, Josh Buchan
     
    Spartans(Southland): Junior Ngaluafe, Mike Molloy, Dylan Collier, James Schrader, Keanu Kahukura, D'Angelo Leiuila, Ben Brown, Mika Mafi, Phil Halder, Wade McRae, Ben Fotheringham, Tepasu Thomas, Reuben Northover, Ezekiel Sopoaga, Shaun Stodart. Reserves: Josh Leith, George Tuineau, Ben Soper, Jack Capil, Anton Huisman, Josh Brazier, Jaye Thomson Te Muunu, Tino Mafoe, Greg Dyer



  • Got two Auckland boys manning the 10 position in that game.
     
    Seems Josh Ioane has gone well in club rugby this season. I saw him named in a Club Form XV, but he was listed at 12.
     
    Southland coach noted D'angelo Leuila as one of the better players for Southland. It's funny, because he's not even listed in the Mitre 10 Cup team or even the Southland B team. I wonder what's going on there.



  • Otago and Southland had a pre-season hit-out on the weekend.
     
    Sassanechs(Otago) 41 - 19 Spartans(Southland)
     
    Sassanechs scorers: Josh Casey, Dillon Hunt, George Bower, Kyle Harris, Josh Ioane, Jonathan Ruru, Thomas Umaga-Jensen tries; Casey 2 con, Ruru con
     
    Spartans scorers: DJ Collier, Keanu Kahukura, Tino Mafoe tries; D'Angelo Leuila con, Mafoe con
     
    Halftime: Sassenachs 19 - 12
     
    Match Report: http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/391422/rugby-coach-pleased-performance-sassenachs
     
    Line-ups:
    Sassenachs(Otago): Mitchell Scott, Fa'asui Fuitai, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Wilson, Josh Ioane, Josh Walden (captain), Sione Teu, James Lentjes, Adam Knight, Sione Misoli, Tom Rowe, Mike Mata'afa, Sam Sturgess, Craig Miller. Reserves: Angus Williams, Sekonaia Pole, George Bower, Dillon Hunt, Ben Whale, Kyle Harris, Charles Elton, Jonathon Ruru, Josh Casey, Hemaua Semasoni, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Josh Gordon, Josh Buchan
     
    Spartans(Southland): Junior Ngaluafe, Mike Molloy, Dylan Collier, James Schrader, Keanu Kahukura, D'Angelo Leiuila, Ben Brown, Mika Mafi, Phil Halder, Wade McRae, Ben Fotheringham, Tepasu Thomas, Reuben Northover, Ezekiel Sopoaga, Shaun Stodart. Reserves: Josh Leith, George Tuineau, Ben Soper, Jack Capil, Anton Huisman, Josh Brazier, Jaye Thomson Te Muunu, Tino Mafoe, Greg Dyer

    Jonathan Ruru? Is that a halfback from Hawke's Bay (last year, the third Magpies hb behind Eaton and Wilson)? Or just someone with the same name?



  • Jonathan Ruru? Is that a halfback from Hawke's Bay (last year, the third Magpies hb behind Eaton and Wilson)? Or just someone with the same name?

    Yes, the HB squad member of last year, Stargazer.



  • About time you lot left your borders to put the Real Bay Trophy on the line - we always seem to be going there!

    Actually, Kiwipie, there have been 48 first-class matches between HB and BOP - 24 in each province.
     
    The recent dominance of games between the two in HB have actually corrected the imbalance, not created one.



  • Not sure if related, but dad is Andy and he was born in Canada
     
    http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/391628/rugby-former-eel-makes-northland-squad

    Thanks !



  • Line-ups:
    Sassenachs(Otago): Mitchell Scott, Fa'asui Fuitai, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Wilson, Josh Ioane, Josh Walden (captain), Sione Teu, James Lentjes, Adam Knight, Sione Misoli, Tom Rowe, Mike Mata'afa, Sam Sturgess, Craig Miller. Reserves: Angus Williams, Sekonaia Pole, George Bower, Dillon Hunt, Ben Whale, Kyle Harris, Charles Elton, Jonathon Ruru, Josh Casey, Hemaua Semasoni, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Josh Gordon, Josh Buchan
     
    Spartans(Southland): Junior Ngaluafe, Mike Molloy, Dylan Collier, James Schrader, Keanu Kahukura, D'Angelo Leiuila, Ben Brown, Mika Mafi, Phil Halder, Wade McRae, Ben Fotheringham, Tepasu Thomas, Reuben Northover, Ezekiel Sopoaga, Shaun Stodart. Reserves: Josh Leith, George Tuineau, Ben Soper, Jack Capil, Anton Huisman, Josh Brazier, Jaye Thomson Te Muunu, Tino Mafoe, Greg Dyer
     
    You can tell the boys born and raised in Otago in those two teams. They're the ones called Josh.



  • Actually, Kiwipie, there have been 48 first-class matches between HB and BOP - 24 in each province.
     
    The recent dominance of games between the two in HB have actually corrected the imbalance, not created one.

    Don't start throwing facts into the debate! Nobody wants to see that ....



  • Harbour 64 - Northland 10 at Albany this arvo
    Harbour have further warmups vs Auckland and Hawkes bay to come



  • Not ideal prep, but our club finals are tomorrow and half our squad unavailable so were a number of players that arent in our squad and a couple of under 20s called in for thier second game yesterday that played that game...



  • Otago and Southland had a pre-season hit-out on the weekend.
     
    Sassanechs(Otago) 41 - 19 Spartans(Southland)
     
    Sassanechs scorers: Josh Casey, Dillon Hunt, George Bower, Kyle Harris, Josh Ioane, Jonathan Ruru, Thomas Umaga-Jensen tries; Casey 2 con, Ruru con
     
    Spartans scorers: DJ Collier, Keanu Kahukura, Tino Mafoe tries; D'Angelo Leuila con, Mafoe con
     
    Halftime: Sassenachs 19 - 12
     
    Match Report: http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/391422/rugby-coach-pleased-performance-sassenachs

    Was at that game and that match report pretty much sums it up. 
     
     
     
     
     
    :whistle:



  • Oops yeah I saw Apa in action yesterday for waikato and realised my booboo. Hadn't noticed Laulala in the CM squad. Weird that Canterbury would bring these guys into their academy and then after only one season floating about the NPC squad, allow them to go elsewhere. I don't see that Canterbury have such wonderful back depth that they'd feel compelled to move on because of it!



  • Canterbury vs Auckland on the first Saturday night of the competition is a good way to open it up. We don't play Wellington during the regular season though which is a bit of a shame. We have a torrid stretch in late September and early October where we have Otago, Waikato, Taranaki and Harbour inside 13 days including a tour in the middle to Hamilton and New Plymouth. I say 'tour' but I guess there's every chance due to budgeting that it could be cheaper to fly the team home for a couple of days in-between rather than pay for a team coach and couple of nights' accommodation. But I hope that's not the case because those sorts of tours are often talked-up as galvanising teams and it has to be far less disruptive to keep the group together on the road than fly home and then back up again.



  • Oops yeah I saw Apa in action yesterday for waikato and realised my booboo. Hadn't noticed Laulala in the CM squad. Weird that Canterbury would bring these guys into their academy and then after only one season floating about the NPC squad, allow them to go elsewhere. I don't see that Canterbury have such wonderful back depth that they'd feel compelled to move on because of it!

    This suggests that Canterbury didn't really have a say in the move:

    Counties Manukau have signed All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala and his former New Zealand Under 20s brother Luteru Laulala from Canterbury.
     
    It will be a home-coming for the brothers who both went to Wesley College.
     
    Nepo, 24, played 44 games for Canterbury while Luteru, 20, played four.
     
    They will follow in the footsteps of older brothers Casey and Ray Laulala who also played for Counties Manukau.
     
    Casey played 23 games in 2001 and 2002 before transferring to Canterbury. He played two tests for the All Blacks.
     
    Ray played seven games for Counties Manukau in 2012.
     
    Luteru said the pair's move back to Counties Manukau was spurred on by a desire to be closer to family.
     
    "It was a family decision based on my brother [Nepo] moving back [for the Chiefs]," he said. "My parents wanted me to move back as well."

    Full article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/78542228/nepo-and-luteru-laulala-sign-with-counties-manukau



  • 2016 Waikato Mitre 10 Cup Squad
     
    Forwards
    Loni Uhila (17) Hamilton Marist
    Latu Talakai (22) Fraser Tech
    Hame Faiva (23) University
    Steven Misa (1) Hamilton Marist
    Atu Moli (7) University
    Tau Koloamatangi (7) University
    Sefo Kautai (1) Hamilton Marist
    James Tucker (9) Hamilton Marist
    Brian Alainu'uese (9) University
    Jacob Skeen (16) University
    Leva Fifita () Hamilton Old Boys
    Whetu Douglas (25) University
    Mitch Jacobson (7) Hautapu
    Adam Burn (27) Hamilton Old Boys
    Jordan Manihera (
    ) Hamilton Old Boys
     
    Backs
    Tawera Kerr-Barlow (40) Hautapu
    Harrison Levien (6) Hamilton Marist
    Pele Cowley (1) Hamilton Old Boys
    Isaac Boss (53) (Southern United)
    Damian McKenzie (20) University
    Stephen Donald (59) University
    Sam Christie (43) Fraser Tech
    Willis Halaholo (*)
    Tevita Taufui (2) Melville
    Nathaniel Apa (1) Fraser Tech
    Anton Lienert-Brown (19) University
    Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara (2) Hamilton Old Boys
    Sevu Reece (2) Melville
    Shaun Stevenson (10) Hamilton Old Boys
    Jordan Trainor (2) Fraser Tech
     
    Wider Training/Injury Cover
    Murray Iti (7) Otorohanga
    Jake Ale (1) Melville
     
    () = caps for Waikato



  • Reading on stuff that Warwick Lahmert, after missing out on a spot in the Great Britain Sevens squad for Rio, has returned to NZ (temporarily) and has been named in the Horowhenua-Kapiti Heartland squad: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/82685705/english-sevens-warwick-lahmert-named-in-horowhenua-kapiti-heartland-squad



  • With the players in that Waikato backline, attack shouldn't be a problem, but like the last couple of years, I have a question mark on the defense and pack.
     
    Halaholo is a nice addition for Waikato. He and ALB should be one of the better midfield combos in the comp.



  • A Samoan Development team made up of NZ based players has been named to play Counties(5th August) and Northland(10th August).
     
    Props:Nu'u Lene - WellingtonAvea Momoisea - Counties ManukauSylvester Tapau - AucklandSam Tufuga - ManawatuJohn Bosco Tagaloa - AucklandKapineta Masunu - AucklandSteven Savali - AucklandJeremiah Fatialofa - Counties ManukauMichael Tuiloma - NorthlandOne more to be confirmedHookers:Elia Elia - CanterburyLeif Schwencke - AucklandFeta Luamanu - Counties ManukauJunior Makapelu - WellingtonOne more to be confirmedLocks:Trope Yandall - AucklandIosefo Taliaoa-Tuafafo - AucklandCallum Adams - Counties ManukauKawa Leauma - AucklandTulele Masoe - Counties ManukauDaymon Leasuasu - Counties ManukauLoose Forwards:Iosefa Timusa - AucklandJaycob Matiu - AucklandSavelio Ropati - Counties ManukauPresely Tufuga - AucklandJimmy Tuivaiti - North HarbourUini Fetalaiga - AucklandVern Sosefo - WellingtonDavid Afamasaga - AucklandBeau Birtwistle - Counties ManukauInside Backs:Fred Tavita - AucklandBrad Moyer - AucklandDwayne Polataivao - AucklandNalu Tuigamala - North HarbourPat Faapoi - AucklandMichigan Lam - AucklandJack Saena - AucklandD'Angelo Leuila - SouthlandRay Laulala - Counties ManukauMidfield:Rhema Sagote - North HarbourPatrick Masoe - Counties ManukauEnoka Muliufi - AucklandLouie Morel - AucklandAaron Collins - AucklandOpe Peleuseuma - WellingtonPhil Tuigamala - North HarbourPatrick Tiatia - Auckland Outside Backs:Peti Ah Mu - AucklandAlex Samoa - Counties ManukauAula Silipa - AucklandEd Fidow - AucklandDanny Tusitala - Auckland Pisi Leilua - AucklandSalesi Rayasi - WellingtonSam Aolele - AucklandKyle Nuualiitia - North HarbourMark Telea - North HarbourTito Sufia - North HarbourBruno Tuivai - AucklandWilson Silipa - Auckland
     
    Quite a few surnames familiar to Samoan Rugby in that bunch.



  • With the players in that Waikato backline, attack shouldn't be a problem, but like the last couple of years, I have a question mark on the defense and pack.
     
    Halaholo is a nice addition for Waikato. He and ALB should be one of the better midfield combos in the comp.

    It's a better squad than last year.  Defence was a problem but they've strengthened in the right areas (i.e. midfield) and the pack has a year more experience under their belts.  I'm not sure what loose forward trio will be favoured but I expect Douglas and Jacobson to be 2 of the 3.
     
    I was impressed with Alainu'uese vs KC in those conditions after such a long time away with injury.  If he can stay fit (a big if based on previous history) he could be looked at for the Chiefs again with a good NPC.  He's still only 22.
     
    I will be interested to see what team is picked for the RS game this Sat as it should be closer to the first-choice team (excluding Super players).  We could eventually see a back 3 of fullbacks once DMac is back with Stevenson and Trainor on the wings.  Donald or Christie will be 1st 5.



  • A Samoan Development team made up of NZ based players has been named to play Counties(5th August) and Northland(10th August).
    Quite a few surnames familiar to Samoan Rugby in that bunch.

    What was Mark Birtwistle, of circa 1991, Samoan qualification? As he was very white. I'd be thinking any offspring of his wound be stretching the grandparent rule unless his spouse also has Samoan lineage .....
    Unless he had Samoan honky roots?



  • A Samoan Development team made up of NZ based players has been named to play Counties(5th August) and Northland(10th August).
    Quite a few surnames familiar to Samoan Rugby in that bunch.

    Also a Rayasi? Son of Philippe Rayasi the ex-Fijian international and Wellington fullback/outside back?
    Now that I've typed that out, Phillipe doesn't seem right ... Was it Filipe?



  • Anyone know what ever happened to So’otala Fa’aso’o? Not sure I've ever read as much hype around an Auckland schoolboy as him. But he ended up bouncing around Wairarapa Bush and Manawatu in recent seasons.
     
    I know he had a massive discipline incident at high school but can't believe his reputation from that would be holding him back this far down the track.



  • Anyone know what ever happened to So’otala Fa’aso’o? Not sure I've ever read as much hype around an Auckland schoolboy as him. But he ended up bouncing around Wairarapa Bush and Manawatu in recent seasons.
     
    I know he had a massive discipline incident at high school but can't believe his reputation from that would be holding him back this far down the track.

    He has been named in the Counties Manukau squad: http://www.daimenhutchison.com/rugby/index.php/topic/41897-counties-rugby-2016/?p=601288



  • Backs
    Tawera Kerr-Barlow (40) Hautapu
    Harrison Levien (6) Hamilton Marist
    Pele Cowley (1) Hamilton Old Boys
    Isaac Boss (53) (Southern United)
    Damian McKenzie (20) University
    Stephen Donald (59) University
    Sam Christie (43) Fraser Tech
    Willis Halaholo (*)
    Tevita Taufui (2) Melville
    Nathaniel Apa (1) Fraser Tech
    Anton Lienert-Brown (19) University
    Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara (2) Hamilton Old Boys
    Sevu Reece (2) Melville
    Shaun Stevenson (10) Hamilton Old Boys
    Jordan Trainor (2) Fraser Tech

    Of that bunch, only TKB is likely to be unavailable for the majority of the competition. A backline comprising Boss, Donald, Halaholo, ALB, Stevenson, Trainor and McKenzie (or slot Apa in there somewhere in the three-quarters) should be able to mix it up nicely.



  • Anyone know what ever happened to So’otala Fa’aso’o? Not sure I've ever read as much hype around an Auckland schoolboy as him. But he ended up bouncing around Wairarapa Bush and Manawatu in recent seasons.
     
    I know he had a massive discipline incident at high school but can't believe his reputation from that would be holding him back this far down the track.

    He missed out on the North Harbour squad but has ended up at Counties. Injuries have also held him back.



  • What was Mark Birtwistle, of circa 1991, Samoan qualification? As he was very white. I'd be thinking any offspring of his wound be stretching the grandparent rule unless his spouse also has Samoan lineage .....
    Unless he had Samoan honky roots?

    I've heard his mum is actually full Samoan.
     
    Funny you mention him, because he's one of the coaches for this team.

    Also a Rayasi? Son of Philippe Rayasi the ex-Fijian international and Wellington fullback/outside back?
    Now that I've typed that out, Phillipe doesn't seem right ... Was it Filipe?

    Yup, that is Filipe's son.



  • What was Mark Birtwistle, of circa 1991, Samoan qualification? As he was very white. I'd be thinking any offspring of his wound be stretching the grandparent rule unless his spouse also has Samoan lineage .....
    Unless he had Samoan honky roots?

    Birtwistle was more qualified than Mata'afa Keenan despite Keenan being very brown.
     
    As to your second point, I'm pretty sure recent Samoan nationals Gavin and Paul William's children wont be eligible for Samoa.
     
    Ps: Bloody Samoans have even put together a poaching list ....


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